NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
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A timely equipment change helped Ludvig Åberg become the first player selected for a Ryder Cup before competing in a major championship.
Åberg, the top graduating player out of this past spring’s PGA Tour University program, has wowed observers with his prodigious driving. Since his professional debut at the RBC Canadian Open, the tall Swede leads all tour players in strokes gained off-the-tee, just ahead of Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler. Åberg did not qualify for season-long stats but was on pace to be No. 4 in that all-important category had he competed for a full season.
He plays a predominantly Titleist bag, including a 9-degree TSR2 driver, a T-MB 718 2-iron, T-100 irons (4-9), three Vokey SM9 wedges, a 60-degree WedgeWorks lob wedge and a Pro V1x golf ball.
The ball-striking analytics showed potential for Åberg to be considered among the game’s elite if he continues to develop. He quickly earned five top-25 finishes on tour, including a T4 at the John Deere Classic, which put him in the thick of European Ryder Cup discussion.
But Åberg’s putting could best be described as inconsistent. He lost strokes to the field in three of his first five professional starts. After missing the cut at the Genesis Scottish Open due to a poor putting performance, he decided to make an adjustment.
Åberg called Odyssey rep Cody Hale at the 3M Open to see whether he could help. His Odyssey Works Versa One putter, a 2015 Anser-style blade, wasn’t getting the job done. Hale provided Åberg with a handful of Odyssey putters to test at home.
One of those was a White Hot Versa. It has a very similar shape and look to his previous putter, but a White Hot Microhinge insert was added to offer a different feel off the putter head.
Needing an extra push to ensure a captain’s pick, Åberg put the putter in play at the Czech Masters and then used it again to capture his first DP World Tour victory in Switzerland. The putter played a pivotal role as Åberg made birdie on four of his final five holes to earn the Omega European Masters title over Matthew Fitzpatrick, whom Åberg would join the next day on Europe's Ryder Cup team.
Now at the young age of 23, Åberg has a chance to vault himself onto the world’s stage as a top player.
Sometimes the difference between winning and a top-25 finish is just a small adjustment.