Ludvig Åberg set his golf ball on the tee in front of dozens of viewers lined behind rope barriers, plus thousands more watching the nationally televised 2023 RBC Canadian Open in June.
He stepped back, took a practice swing and stared down the fairway.
This was it.
Åberg’s demeanor—calm, composed and focused—masked how much he anticipated that very moment.
“From Eslov, Sweden, please welcome Ludvig Åberg,” announced the starter, followed by a brief round of applause and cheers. Viewers watching from home heard the commentator follow up with, “Welcome to the show, kid.”
With those introductions Åberg teed off, debuting as a member of the PGA Tour.
“Being a PGA Tour member is something I’ve dreamt about for a very long time,” he said. “It was literally the week after we finished playing nationals, so I didn’t have too much time to get nervous for it.”
During the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship in May 2023, Åberg led the Texas Tech University men’s golf team to a 16th-place finish. Even more exciting, by the end of the tournament, he was named the No. 1 player in the final 2023 PGA Tour University Rankings—earning a PGA Tour membership card.
He became the first collegiate golfer to achieve the feat.
“It was a little bit unreal, to be fair,” Åberg said. “I mean, college golf is what I’ve done for years now. That’s what I know.”
Åberg became a Red Raider in 2019, thanks to recruiting efforts by head coach Greg Sands and a couple of fellow Swedes on the team.
In the time Åberg dedicated to his college career, he established 12 program records and transformed into the Big 12 Player of the Year. He became only the seventh player in history to sweep the National Player of the Year Awards, winning the Ben Hogan Award (twice), Fred Haskins and Jack Nicklaus honors.
Åberg walked away from campus with new and improved skills and confidence, eager to take on the best in the world. But he appreciates how the Double T proudly displayed on his golf bag helps Texas Tech fandom follow him almost anywhere he plays professionally.
“I owe a lot to Texas Tech,” he said. “Everything the athletic department has done not only for me, but for our whole program has been unbelievable. For me to take advantage of all these opportunities has been unbelievable to me.”
By fall 2023, Åberg had already played 14 PGA events, winning his first professional tournament at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland on September 3.
In the post-tournament interview, Åberg admitted he knew he needed that win to possibly make Team Europe for the Ryder Cup: a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the U.S.
“That would mean the world,” Åberg said. “As a young golfer growing up in Sweden, those are the tournaments and events you want to be a part of. And if I ever get the chance to be a part of that, I’ll be over the moon.”
Which meant Åberg practically went into orbit less than 24 hours later, when he was informed he was a captain’s pick for Team Europe.
During the competition from September 29 to October 1, Åberg teamed up with Viktor Hovland to beat the U.S. team of Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka 9-and-7 during the Saturday morning foursomes session.
It was the largest margin of victory for an 18-hole match, foursomes or otherwise, in Ryder Cup history. In addition, Åberg almost made a hole-in-one during his historic performance.
He told reporters after the win he felt like he needed to pinch himself, which was even more true when his efforts helped propel Team Europe to a Ryder Cup victory.
Besides this accomplishment of a lifetime, Åberg also earned a tie for fourth in the John Deere Classic, finished tied for 14th at the Wyndham Championship and ended the Travelers Championship tied for 24th. Consequently, he has soared up the world golf ranking into the top 60.
Even so, Åberg is not done learning. And he’s far from done working because in his eyes, he has yet to “make it.”
“I still feel like there’s so much to do,” he remarked. “I’m a competitor and I love to win. But I still think my achievements and accolades are more a receipt of me doing good practice and preparations ahead of every tournament I do. I feel like as long as I do that, good things will come.”