Ludvig Aberg began 2023 as an amateur and was ranked 3,073rd in the world-8 M Helligkilde (Den); -6 M Fitzpatrick (Eng), R Ramsey (Sco); -5 T Detry (Bel), A Meronk (Pol), P Larrazabal (Spa), J Campillo (Spa), J Morrison (Eng), M Baldwin (Eng), C Syme (Sco), R Hoshino (Jap)Selected others: -4 L Aberg (Swe), T Hatton (Eng), -3 S Lowry (Ire), T Fleetwood (Eng); -2 L Donald (Eng); -1 D Willett (Eng); E R McIlroy (NI) Full leaderboard
Newly turned professional Ludvig Aberg warmed up for the Ryder Cup with an impressive opening round at the BMW PGA Championship.
The Swede outscored Ryder Cup team-mates Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland after posting a four-under-par 68 despite a double bogey on the 17th.
“Playing with Rory and Viktor was a lot of fun,” said Aberg, 23, who only turned professional in June.
Denmark’s Marcus Helligkilde is the clubhouse leader on eight under par.
England’s Matt Fitzpatrick and Scotland’s Richie Ramsay share second place on six under.
“The 17th was a little bit stupid but other than that I felt like I hit the ball great,” added Aberg, who was given a Ryder Cup wildcard hours after winning the European Masters in Switzerland earlier this month.
Hovland carded a three-under-par 69 while McIlroy is a further three shots back.
Norway’s Hovland was full of praise for his Ryder Cup team-mate Aberg.
“The way he’s played the last couple of months, he has not been a pro very long but he certainly doesn’t look scared of the moment,” the world number four said.
“I think this week is a great experience for him but I think he’s ready regardless.
“He’s super talented and he is going to be around a long time. He’s going to do great things.”