WiretoWire: Åberg earns maiden title in Sea Island
4 Min Read
Written by Staff @PGATOUR
Not many months ago, Ludvig Åberg was finishing his degree at Texas Tech University. Fast forward six months, and the Swedish sensation stole the show at Sea Island to claim his first PGA TOUR victory. Leading by one entering Sunday, you wouldn’t have blamed the 24-year-old for feeling nervous. But at no point during a dominant final-round 61 did the nerves show. “I’m still nervous when I woke up this morning,” Åberg said after the final putt dropped. “I see it as a privilege to be in that position and that’s the way I’ve viewed this whole tournament. Luckily, I had some putts go in today, which is a nice bonus, but I’m super happy, kinda beyond my dreams.”
With the win, Åberg earned a spot in The Sentry to start the 2024 season, as well as starts at THE PLAYERS and the Masters. Åberg also vaulted into The Next 10, finishing 53rd in the FedExCup Fall, and now has a spot in two Signature Events (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and The Genesis Invitational). After gaining his TOUR card as the top finisher in the 2023 PGA TOUR University Ranking, Åberg has won on the DP World Tour, helped the European Ryder Cup Team claim back the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone, Italy, and has now claimed his first win on TOUR. Quite the bid for Rookie of the Year honors.
The 2022-23 PGA TOUR season concluded at The RSM Classic, finalizing status and eligibility for 2024 on the critical top-125 and top-150 bubbles. Players inside the top 125 earned exempt status, with Nos. 126-150 receiving conditional status. There will also be five PGA TOUR cards (and ties) awarded at Final Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry this fall. Ryan Moore was the only player to move inside the top 125 this week, finishing T8 at Sea Island Golf Club to jump from No. 128 to No. 118. Falling outside was Carl Yuan, who dropped from No. 125 to No. 126. Two players moved inside the top 150 this week: Kelly Kraft (No. 157 to No. 148) and Vince Whaley (No. 160 to No. 149). They bumped out Paul Haley II and Webb Simpson.
Perhaps the most emotional player was Patton Kizzire, who finished No. 129 and will lose exempt status for the first time since earning his card in 2015. “This is what I've always wanted to do since I was a kid,” said Kizzire through tears. “They asked me what I wanted to do when I was in second grade and I said I want to be a professional golfer and I've never changed my mind, so here I am.”
Tiger Woods will play the Hero World Challenge later this month, his first PGA TOUR start since undergoing ankle surgery in the spring. The 82-time TOUR winner announced his commitment Saturday on Instagram. The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in Albany, Bahamas. Woods hasn’t competed since undergoing ankle surgery in late April, shortly after withdrawing from the Masters during the third round due to plantar fasciitis. The 15-time major winner was seen chipping at Liberty National in September, and a video was captured of Woods hitting balls at The Hay, the short course Woods designed at Pebble Beach, during the TGR Jr. Invitational in October. Woods has shown improvement in recent weeks and recently told the Associated Press, “My ankle is fine,” adding “that pain is completely gone. It’s the other areas that have been compensated for.” He will put it to the test at Albany.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Make-A-Wish recipient spends a day at The RSM Classic
“It's been a wild six months, but it's been so much fun. I still pinch myself in the morning when I wake up to kind of realize that this is what I do for a job. These experiences that I've had over the last six months have been beyond my dreams and I'll never forget it.” – Ludvig Åberg after winning The RSM Classic
BY THE NUMBERS
47 – This week featured three PGA TOUR Q-School Second Stage sites across the southeastern United States, with 47 players advancing to Final Stage, which will be contested Dec. 14-17 across TPC Sawgrass’ Dye’s Valley Course and Sawgrass Country Club (two rounds at each course).
253 – Ludvig Åberg’s total score of 253 at this week’s RSM Classic ties the lowest 72-hole score ever on the PGA TOUR (Justin Thomas, 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii).
T14 – Hall-of-fame pitcher John Smoltz finished T14 at the First Stage of PGA TOUR Champions Q-School to earn one of 80 spots in the Final Stage at TPC Scottsdale’s Champion course Dec. 5-8.