How Åberg will use ‘pressure’ from Ryder Cup at The Players

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How Åberg will use ‘pressure’ from Ryder Cup at The Players

Ludvig Åberg believes the pressure of playing in a Ryder Cup can inspire him to challenge for more success when he makes his debut at The Players this week, live on Sky Sports.

Åberg was still in college when Scottie Scheffler won The Players a year ago, having only turned professional in June, but arrives at this year’s contest as a serious contender for a debut victory at TPC Sawgrass.

The 24-year-old won two of his four matches in Europe’s 16.5-11.5 Ryder Cup victory in Rome, a month on from his breakthrough DP World Tour title at the Omega European Masters, with Åberg now looking to build on his strong start to his PGA Tour career.

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Ludvig Åberg and Viktor Hovland set a Ryder Cup record as they thrashed Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka with a 9&7 win on day two in Rome

“If I can perform under those kinds of circumstances that playing in the Ryder Cup present, which is very, very different from any other tournament, then I feel like it will help me going forward,” Åberg told Sky Sports ahead of The Players.

“I feel like I handled that [pressure and atmosphere] quite well. It was the first time that I got to experience a lot of those things and hang out with those guys. And after that it kind of becomes easier, I guess.”

Åberg backed up his Ryder Cup glory by claiming a maiden PGA Tour victory at the RSM Classic last November, while a runner-up finish at the weather-affected AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last month has moved him inside the world’s top 10.

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Highlights from the final round of the RSM Classic in Georgia, where Ludvig Åberg impressed to claim a maiden PGA Tour win

He also finished inside the top-10 at the Farmers Insurance Open and added a top-20 at the Genesis Invitational, with Åberg entering The Players off the back of ending the week on level par at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“There’s a bunch of things you can always improve on,” Åberg added, playing down his rapid rise up the rankings. “I’d like to think that I’m swinging it quite neutral, which means that I can shape it both ways.

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“I know that I’ve played my best golf whenever I do that, but there’s the consistency, the trajectories, all those things that you can always get a little bit better at.”

Åberg: I’ll birdie 17th again!

Åberg is among 23 players scheduled to make their debut this week – including rookie PGA Tour winners Matthieu Pavon and Nick Dunlap – and is fully aware of the challenges that TPC Sawgrass, including its iconic 17th hole, offers.

“It [TPC Sawgrass] is such a cool place and I’ve heard a lot of stories,” Åberg said. “I actually played the Junior Players Championship a couple of years ago, so I’ve played the course before.

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A look back at all the televised aces at the iconic 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass during the history of The Players

“It might be in a little bit different condition, but that was really cool. I remember I birdied it [17th] one time and I’ll try to do that again next time I go there.

“I haven’t talked to the [PGA Tour] guys much about the specifics of the golf course, but obviously it’s a shot shaping golf course. It’s difficult, but it was the same at Bay Hill, so I think it’s good to have these weeks back-to-back and get back into tournament golf.”

Åberg was speaking to Sky Sports ahead of The Players, with the full interview released as part of a special preview podcast on Tuesday March 12. Download and listen to the latest Sky Sports Golf podcast and don’t forget to subscribe via Spotify, Spreaker or Apple Podcasts!

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