OLIVER HOLT: Europe’s rising star Ludvig Aberg is not as big as Abba, Bjorn Borg or Zlatan Ibrahimovic – not yet… but the youngster is ready to take his tilt at greatness at the Ryder Cup

The next of the Great Ones walked into the media tent at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club on Tuesday. Everyone says it. Everyone who knows him. Anyone who saw him play. Anyone who has seen him hit a ball and heard what the ball sounds like as it flies away from his club.

That’s how it is sometimes with the best players, with the special players. People know it even before they seriously start their professional career. It was the same with LeBron James when he was a kid in high school. So it was with Venus Williams.

It was the same with Wayne Rooney, when he played football in the street with his mates after the Everton matches. And so it was with Tiger Woods when he was still in college.

And now it is the case with Ludvig Aberg, the young Swedish phenom selected to play in this week’s Ryder Cup, just a few months after turning pro and before he had played in even one major tournament.

It’s the same with him. Everyone knows it.

Ludvig Aberg was selected to play in the Ryder Cup just months after turning pro

1695764885 778 OLIVER HOLT Europes rising star Ludvig Aberg is not as

Like LeBron James, Venus Williams and Tiger Woods, he’s a special kind of player that everyone knows will be great before they seriously start their careers.

Someone even asked him how he would cope if he became as famous as Abba. Aberg’s blue eyes sparkled.

“I wouldn’t put myself in the same sentence as Abba,” he said. “All I try to do is play golf and take as few shots as possible every tournament I play in.”

Aberg, who emerged as a star of the future during a stellar American college career at Texas Tech and won his first professional title a few weeks ago at the European Masters in Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland, is a master of understatement. Those who witnessed the breathtaking start to his professional career tend to be more exuberant.

“Europe really has gold in its hands with this man,” Thomas Bjorn, one of Europe’s vice-captains, said about Aberg this week. “Some people said it was a risk to pick him, but I don’t see any at all.

“As Luke Donald said, he is a generational talent – ​​a real world-beater – and we will have no problem putting him in the middle of the toughest conditions.”

Aberg spoke with the certainty of a veteran as he was led to his news conference here. He’s 23, but he looks and talks like a man who doesn’t get upset about anything. He couldn’t think of anything that made him angry.

“I’m a pretty quiet guy,” Aberg said. ‘I don’t get too high. I think one of the things that I do really well is that when I play golf, I have a pretty high level of acceptance.

“So when I’m on the golf course, I try to be the best I can. It is what it is, no matter what happened, and all you can do is try to respond to it.”

Aberg is ready to take his chance at greatness in the upcoming Ryder Cup with Team Europe

Aberg is ready to take his chance at greatness in the upcoming Ryder Cup with Team Europe

There is an inexpressible elegance in Aberg. Everything he does – the way he hits the ball, the way he puts, the way he handles questions – he seems to be able to do in first gear, without straining. He is the epitome of grace under pressure.

A few weeks ago, Aberg was asked how he felt about being affectionately nicknamed The Stud by a number of senior players on tour. He was asked about it again on Tuesday. His rejection of the question was as smooth as hitting an approach shot from within a yard.

“I mean, it’s certainly very flattering,” Aberg said. “But honestly, I haven’t thought about it much since we last spoke.”

Donald, the European skipper, has made a bold choice in picking him and he shows no signs of doubting his choice. He also seems to be impressed by the Swede’s potential. He is also someone who believes Aberg is destined for greatness.

Aberg was asked how he would go about becoming as famous as Abba (photo) in Sweden

Aberg was asked how he would go about becoming as famous as Abba (photo) in Sweden

Aberg could one day be bigger than Bjorn Borg in Sweden

He's also not as big as Zlatan Ibrahimovic – not yet

Aberg isn’t as big as Abba, Bjorn Borg (left) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but one day he could be

“Ludvig definitely came onto my radar at the beginning of this year in Dubai,” Donald said. ‘He was paired with Edoardo Molinari, one of my vice-captains, and Edoardo said, “We have to keep an eye on this guy.”

‘When you play with certain players, you notice that. They have a certain talent: you see them hitting golf balls and you are blown away just by the different shots, the sound, the course. How he can drive a golf ball is very, very impressive.

“His family tree is just beginning. He’s just leaving. He’s just starting to write his history. I think he is a generational talent.

“As I’ve said before in the media, I think he’s a very, very strong player and I’m looking forward to seeing him have this Ryder Cup experience because it’s really great to be part of it.” to make. ‘

Not as big as Abba. Not as big as Bjorn Borg. Not as big as Zlatan. Not yet. But ready to cherish greatness.