'You Have To Respect The Qualifying System' - Tour Pro Unsure On Aberg Ryder Cup Pick

The young Swede currently sits outside the top 50 in the qualifying standings but has been touted as a potential Captain's pick

Ludvig Aberg watches his tee shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Eddie Pepperell has explained his surprise at a potential Ryder Cup captain's pick for Ludvig Aberg, claiming the young Swede's inclusion would be "worrying" given his lowly position in the qualification rankings.

Aberg only turned professional in June after a stellar amateur career that saw him reach World No.1 in the rankings, whilst he also claimed the top spot on the PGA Tour University rankings.

The young Swede has already impressed in his nine professional outings and, with another fast start currently leaving him T5 in the European Masters after the second round, many are now calling for Aberg to be a late inclusion in Luke Donald's plans for Marco Simone later this month. 

Having only turned pro a few months ago, Aberg currently sits outside the top 50 in the Ryder Cup points list and two-time DP World Tour winner, Eddie Pepperell, is unsure about what a captain's pick for the 23-year-old would say about the importance of the qualifying system.

"I feel like he kind of needed to win or come very close to winning this week to warrant a pick," stated Pepperell, who was speaking to Sky Sports during the second round of the European Masters on Friday. 

"If he doesn’t do that and still gets a pick, I worry a little bit what that means for the guys like, whoever is going to become at the expense of that. Because they have spent this year playing on this Tour, they’ve done well, it’s a tricky one isn’t it?

"It’s like Jon Rahm in 2016. Would you have picked him? In hindsight maybe, but you have to respect the qualifying system. People like Victor Perez. I know he’s not in great form but he’s still third on the Race to Dubai. Nicolai (Hojgaard) has done well also.

Ludvig Aberg at the 2023 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"It would be an interesting one and I can see both sides of the coin. I know Luke played with him in Detroit, and he said it was just as good as when Rory (McIlroy) came out.”

On the PGA Tour, Aberg missed the cut in just one of his seven events, registering two top-30s, one top 20 and a T4 finish at the John Deere Classic. Since returning to Europe, he notched up a T4 finish at the Czech Masters last week before finding himself in contention once again at the halfway stage in Switzerland.

His main rival for a captain's pick is likely to be Nicolai Hojgaard. The young Dane finished third last week and currently sits at T8 in this week's standings. 

When asked earlier in the week, Aberg labelled talk of a Ryder Cup pick "flattering" but said it would be a "dream come true" if he was to secure a pick for the tournament later in September.

"I wouldn't expect myself to be in that position this early on, to be honest," he said speaking on the DP World Tour's website.

"Once I'm on the golf course, I just try to have fun and hit as few shots as I can. Then it's up to the captain and the vice captains and see what they want to do. It would mean the world. As a young person growing up in Europe, I watched the Ryder Cup for so many years."

Luke Donald is set to announce his six captain’s picks on September 4th following the conclusion of the European Masters.

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He has covered a variety of sports and has also worked as a freelance journalist for The Independent and Stats Perform. An avid, albeit distinctly average golfer, he is a member of Nevill Golf Club. One of his best golfing moment was winning a 100/1 bet on Seamus Power and Thomas Detry to finish first and second at the 2022 Bermuda Championship.