Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg claimed a maiden victory in only his second DP World Tour event as a professional courtesy of a stunning finish at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland, and put himself firmly in the running for a captain’s pick for this month’s Ryder Cup.
The former top amateur confirmed his status as one of golf’s rising stars with a closing 64 at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club to deny Matt Fitzpatrick a hat-trick of titles in the Swiss mountains, after turning professional in June.
Aberg birdied four of his last five holes to finish on 19 under par, two ahead of fellow countryman Alexander Björk, with long-time leader Fitzpatrick eventually finishing in a tie for third with Connor Syme after dropping three shots in his last four holes.
After a bogey at the first for Aberg left the 23-year-old three off the pace, he rolled in a 14-footer for birdie on the fifth. A tee shot to five feet at the eighth and a delicate up-and-down on the ninth saw him turn in 33, although he still had work to do to catch overnight leader Fitzpatrick at that stage.
Four successive pars on the inward nine looked to have ended his chances, but Aberg had other ideas as he cashed in on the back-to-back par-five 14th and 15th, rolled in a 15 footer on the 16th and stiffed his approach to tap-in range at the 17th. He might have had another birdie on the daunting 18th, but came up a touch shy with his putt from 13 feet.
Aberg said: “I‘ve always had that belief that one day I could win out here on tour, but to do it so soon is pretty cool. To be able to put together four rounds here in the mountains is a dream come true. It’s a testament that I’m doing good stuff. I’ve been asked about the Ryder Cup a lot. I feel like I’ve done a good job of not letting it affect me too much. I try to just play golf and see where that golf takes me. Luckily today, I’m sitting here with a trophy, so it took me quite some way. Any European growing up is watching the Ryder Cup, you want to be on that team. To be in those conversations is very flattering.”
With his tied third place finish, Fitzpatrick secured a place on the European Ryder Cup team after taking the last spot via the World Points list, with Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre guaranteeing a debut in Rome by claiming the last remaining place on the European Points List. The remaining six places will be filled by captain’s picks which will be announced by Luke Donald on Monday.