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Aberg defies jelly legs on ‘dream’ Ryder Cup debut

Europe's Swedish golfer, Ludvig Aberg watches his shot from the 10th tee during his foursomes match on the first day of play in the 44th Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome on September 29, 2023. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Ludvig Aberg admitted Friday that he was riddled with nerves during his “dream” Ryder Cup debut in Rome which comes just months after turning professional.

Swede Aberg put Europe two ahead in the morning session in Rome alongside Viktor Hovland, crushing Max Homa and Brian Harman four and three as the USA were swept 4-0 in the morning’s foursomes.

It is a remarkable start in the Ryder Cup for Aberg, who earned his place after rising from 3,064th in the world rankings at the start of the year to the top 80 and only turned professional in June.

Asked whether his legs turned to jelly during the round, he said: “Yes they did, multiple times.”

“It’s a dream come true for me to play here, and you know, to get the first point on the board is the most important thing for us,” said Aberg.

“It’s very easy to get distracted and all that but the crowd supported us, we felt the energy… It’s something that I will never forget.”

As if Friday’s storming win wasn’t enough, Aberg was even congratulated by tennis great Novak Djokovic, the 24-time Grand Slam winner at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club to cheer on Europe.

“I saw him a little bit. I got a high five at end after the round and it was pretty cool, it was pretty special,” said Aberg.

“He is the GOAT (greatest of all time) of tennis and to see him here supporting us everyone really appreciates.”

Shane Lowry is playing in his second Ryder Cup after taking part in 2021’s 19-9 humiliation at the hands of the Americans and is enjoying the experience of having loud backing from home fans.

“It’s obviously different playing out there today,” said Lowry.

“It’s amazing walking on every tee and green and every fairway the crowds are just cheering for you.

“We were fairly fortunate that a lot of things went our way, so the crowd got on our side fairly quickly and you can hear the roars around the course. It was a very special morning of golf.”

Europe, led by captain Luke Donald, is trying to reclaim the Ryder Cup and stop the USA from winning the trophy on the opposing side of the Atlantic Ocean for the first time since 1993.

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