Ludvig Aberg is on a heater.
The Texas Tech senior enters the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, which begins Friday at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, having won each of his past two events, the Big 12 Championship and the NCAA Norman Regional. He also just shot 59 – and nearly 58.
The sub-60 score came Wednesday as the Red Raiders got in a casual round at Kierland Golf Club, a 27-hole layout near Grayhawk. Aberg started his day on the Mesquite nine, where he capped a 6-under 30 with three straight birdies. He then headed to the Acacia nine, which was highlighted early by an eagle at the par-5 fifth that moved Aberg to 9 under on the par-72 composite. With four holes left, Aberg birdied Nos. 6 and 7 before holing a chip after short-siding himself at the par-3 eighth, his 17th hole of the round.
At 12 under with the par-5 ninth to go, Aberg stuffed his second shot from just inside of 200 yards to 8 feet. That’s when Texas Tech head coach Greg Sands got out his phone to video the putt for 58. Aberg slid it by left and low, but the tap-in still achieved the “backhanded 59,” as Sands called it.
“Everything is coming together for him very well,” Sands said of his star player on the eve of the national championship.
Aberg enters nationals having finished in the top 10 in nine of nine college starts while posting four victories. He’s done so despite the distractions of PGA Tour University, where he’s comfortably No. 1 and on the precipice of a PGA Tour card, plus conversations of the three postseason awards, including the Hogan, which he accepted Monday during a banquet at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
The super Swede is likely the favorite for the Haskins and Nicklaus awards, as well, although Vanderbilt sophomore Gordon Sargent has also put together a nice season with top-7s in all 11 starts, including three victories.
“When you look at stuff like PGA Tour U, you see guys cracking all over the place, and this guy just doesn’t crack,” Sands said. “You put anyone in his spot, and they don’t do what he’s done.”