Ludvig Aberg Explains How Playing With Rory McIlroy Has Helped Him

Aberg is the overnight leader going into the final day of the BMW PGA Championship after playing with McIlroy for the first two days

Ludvig Aberg shakes Rory McIlroy's hand after playing together at Wentworth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ludvig Aberg insisted he is unfazed ahead of the biggest round of his career so far on Sunday at Wentworth, after handling the pressure of playing alongside Rory McIlroy.

New Swedish Ryder Cup player Aberg has enjoyed a stunning start to his career after only turning pro in June. His incredible progress saw him earn a wildcard into Luke Donald's Europe team for the Ryder Cup after winning the Omega European Masters following a final round 64. Now he leads the field going into the final day of the DP World Tour's flagship event with $1,530,000 in prize money available for the winner.

But Aberg vowed to "sleep like a baby" ahead of the last day after thriving playing alongside Major winner McIlroy for the first two days. Their marquee group, which also featured in-form Viktor Hovland, drew huge crowds, yet Aberg shot the best score both days with a 68 and 66.  

And Aberg believes the experience of having the large gallery watching him will stand him in good stead for Sunday's final round when he tees off last at 10.30am with Fleetwood and Connor Syme.

The Swede, who has a two shot lead, reflected: "I almost got a little bit of a warm up the first two days playing with Rory, there was a lot of stuff going on. I felt like I handled it well the first two days and did the same today (Saturday) where I kept my feet where they are and tried to focus on one shot at a time. Hopefully I'll do the same tomorrow (Sunday) and play some good golf.

"It's really cool, all of these experiences for the time I'm having. Thursday and Friday playing with Rory was also new and I felt like I handled that quite well. I'm trying to do the same. Trying to approach it the same way."

Aberg's composed, calm demeanour has impressed his peers including Donald and was evident in the final round at Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland earlier this month when the pro birdied four of the last five holes to pile the pressure on Matt Fitzpatrick and overhaul the Englishman to clinch his first professional win. 

He added: "Switzerland was cool coming from behind with my first win and playing well over the back nine gave me a belief that I can do it and I can do it on this stage."

James Nursey

James Nursey is a freelance contributor to Golf Monthly after spending over 20 years as a sports reporter in newspapers. During a 17-year career with the Daily Mirror, he covered mainly football but reported from The Open annually and also covered a Ryder Cup and three US Opens. He counts a pre-tournament exclusive with Justin Rose at Merion in 2013 as one of his most memorable as the Englishman went on to win his first Major and later repeated much of the interview in his winner’s speech.  Now, after choosing to leave full-time work in newspapers, James, who is a keen single-figure player, is writing about golf more.  His favourite track is the Old Course after attending St Andrews University but has since played mainly at Edgbaston, where he is a member. James’ golfing highlights include a hole-in-one and previously winning the club championship and scratch knock-out at Edgbaston. He is also an active member of the Association of Golf Writers and Press Golfing Society, for whom he has represented in matches. But he is just as happy hitting balls or playing the odd hole with his young daughter at their local club Shrewsbury.

James is currently playing: 
Driver: Ping G400
3 wood: Ping i20
Hybrid: Ping i20
Irons: Ping i500 4-SW
Wedges: Ping Glide forged 50, 56
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour
Ball: Titleist ProVIx