‘A number of red flags’: Star Ryder Cup rookie explains why he rejected LIV’s advances
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Few players have broken through to pro golf stardom as quickly as Ludvig Aberg did in 2023. And the 24-year-old Swedish phenom did so primarily on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour, despite recruitment attempts from LIV Golf.
But the beginning of Aberg’s story with LIV dates back to the spring of 2022, when while still a college golfer he reportedly turned down a multi-million offer from the upstart, Saudi-financed golf league. Shortly thereafter, Aberg completed a phenomenal college season by earning Ben Hogan Award honors as the Player of the Year.
By September 2022, Aberg was No. 1 in the world amateur rankings. Flash forward to September 2023, and Aberg claimed his first pro win at the DP World Tour’s Omega European Masters, before holding the 54-hole lead at the BMW PGA Championship.
In between those starts, Luke Donald selected him as a captain’s pick for the European Ryder Cup team, which was a surprise to many American fans who didn’t know him yet. That would change with his impressive performance in the European team’s win at Marco Simone later in the month.
Following the Ryder Cup, Aberg headed back to the PGA Tour, where he lost in a playoff at the Sanderson Farms Championship before capturing his first-career Tour victory at the RSM Classic in November.
With millions made on the course in a single year, it’s clear that Aberg’s decision to turn down LIV in 2022 was a solid one, but at the time his future wasn’t as certain.
But in a recent appearance on the Eurosport podcast with Espen Blaker, Aberg explained why he turned down LIV before he’d made a name for himself.
In a translation of the interview reported by several outlets including Golf Digest, Aberg said, “There were a number of red flags, which is not good. We realized that I could potentially burn a lot of bridges, and I wasn’t interested in that. When I look back, I am very confident in my decision. I will never chase money; what I do is compete. I did the right thing.”
“I want to play against the best because I am a competitive person and like to compete against the best players,” Aberg continued, “When I look at the PGA Tour and the competitions there, there is so much history around all the competitions. And that’s what I like, that’s what I go for. But then you have to respect everyone’s decisions.”
With his PGA Tour card locked up for years to come and a win already on his resume, Aberg’s outlook heading into 2024 is as bright as they come.