Ryder Cup: Ludvig Aberg in Europe team to face United States in Rome

Ludvig Aberg with the European Masters trophy
Ludvig Aberg began 2023 as an amateur and was ranked 3,073rd in the world - victory in Switzerland lifted him to number 90

Newly turned professional Ludvig Aberg will make his Ryder Cup bow for Europe after being named in captain Luke Donald's six wildcard picks on Monday.

The 23-year-old, who only turned professional in June, won the European Masters in Switzerland on Sunday.

"I have faith in Ludvig - I think he'll be a generational player," said Donald.

Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka, Justin Rose, Shane Lowry and Nicolai Hojgaard have also been picked for the 12-man team to face the United States in Rome.

They join Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and Robert MacIntyre - who claimed the six automatic qualification spots - in the team for the for the biennial match at Marco Simone from 29 September to 1 October.

Along with MacIntyre, Denmark's Hojgaard and Austria's Straka will also be making their debuts in the Ryder Cup, while 2019 Open champion Lowry will be playing his first in Europe.

Europe will attempt to regain the Ryder Cup from the United States following a record 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits in 2021.

'I was blown away by his game'

Prior to Monday's announcement the possible inclusion of Aberg had been a significant and exciting talking point given his lack of experience.

Shooting 65 and 67 alongside Donald in the first two rounds of the Rocket Mortgage Classic earlier this year was an excellent early audition for a spot.

And the former world number one amateur, who finished first in the PGA Tour University rankings to earn his card, underlined his rich potential at Crans-sur-Sierre in the final qualifying event to make the quickest transition from the amateur ranks to the Ryder Cup in the contest's history.

"He's going to be around a long time and do amazing things," Donald added.

"If he wasn't going to play this one, he was going to play the next eight. That's how good I think he is.

"He hits some of the most amazing shots. If you look at his statistics this year he would be the number one driver in the world ahead of Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler, and those are pretty high standards for someone just coming out of college.

"We obviously knew what he was doing in the college scene. You look at what he did in those four years and the only comparable players really were Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm. He is that good. I played with him in Detroit and was blown away by his game."

Poland's Adrian Meronk, 30, has not been selected, despite winning the Italian Open on the Ryder Cup course in May and sitting third in the DP World Tour rankings.

"There were a number of players that you could make a good argument to be on that team that aren't. Those are difficult decisions," Donald added.

"I've been in that position myself - I know what it feels like and it's gut-wrenching. I spoke to them all and it's never easy but they handled it with class."