CRANS-MONTANA – In just his sixth appearance on the DP World Tour, Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg won the European Masters in Switzerland on Sunday by two strokes over compatriot Alexander Bjork.
“It’s a pretty surreal feeling to be honest,” the 23-year-old said of his first win after merely 75 days as a pro. “I always had that (feeling) that I could do it.”
Matt Fitzpatrick, who was leading with two strokes going into the final round, had to settle for third place after some late struggles saw him finish three strokes behind Aberg, but he still booked his place in Europe’s Ryder Cup team.
The 2022 US Open champion’s performance means he replaces fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood as one of the two automatic final qualifiers for Europe decided on Sunday.
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre clinched the other spot despite finishing 55th.
He said: “I am so excited to be part of this year’s European Ryder Cup team, and I am really looking forward to Rome.
“It has been a tough qualifying campaign, but I am pleased with the way I have dealt with the challenge and to have earned one of the six automatic spots.
“I’ve worked hard to play in the Ryder Cup, but it’s now important that we go on and win it.”
They joined Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm in the European team for the Ryder Cup in the Italian capital from Sept 29 to Oct 1.
Said Europe captain Luke Donald: “There are many major milestones in every Ryder Cup journey, but there is no question that finalising the automatic qualifiers for Team Europe is most definitely one of them.
“These six players have been standout performers throughout the qualification period and I am delighted to welcome each and every one of them officially to the 2023 team.”
Aberg, who finished with four birdies in his last fives holes, carded a final-round six-under 64 for a 19-under 261.
He will hope to be one of Donald’s six wildcard picks on Monday.
Said Aberg: “I figured a win would put me in a good position. Honestly, I’ve done a pretty good job of not thinking about it too much…
“It would mean the world obviously.
“I think as a young golfer growing up in Sweden and in Europe those are the events you want to be a part of and if I ever get the chance to be a part of that, I’m going to be over the moon. It would be really cool.”
Overnight leader Fitzpatrick slipped after some late struggles in Crans-sur-Sierre.
The Englishman, 29, made three bogeys in the final four holes to card a 69 and blow his chances of drawing level with the Spanish great Seve Ballesteros for the most wins at the event, having triumphed twice before.
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