He has 18 holes to go until claiming the biggest win of his young career.
After shooting a superb 6-under 66 Saturday, Ludvig Åberg holds a two-shot lead over Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and Connor Syme of Scotland at the BMW PGA Championship.
“It was a lot of fun,” Åberg said of his thrilling third round.
“I felt like I was striking the ball pretty good today even though I had a few left misses with my driver. But I ended up with some key saves here and there and then with a few nice shots coming in.”
One of those big misses came at the par-4 13th hole, a 470-yard dogleg left.
Åberg rifled his tee shot left and into the woods. His ball came to rest in a creek, which forced him to take a drop.
A double bogey—and his two-shot lead completely evaporating—stared him right in the face.
“I didn’t even know there was a water hazard there,” Åberg said of his endeavors at 13.
“But I took the drop and chipped out, and then I ended up making, I don’t even know how long the putt was, but it felt pretty good when it went in but one of them bonuses, I guess.”
He drained a 36-footer to save a bogey-five.
It was indeed the ‘bonus’ of the day.
But most impressively, that mishap did not phase the 23-year-old.
Two holes later, at the tough par-4 15th, Åberg pulled out his driver again and stripped it down the middle of the fairway.
He then stuck a 187-yard 7-iron to six feet and rolled that in for birdie.
Just like that, his mistake at 13 was wiped away, which speaks volumes to the young man’s mental fortitude. That will come in handy at the Ryder Cup in two weeks and could spell doom for Team USA.
But Åberg got a healthy dose of what the Ryder Cup will feel like since he played the first two rounds with Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland.
“I almost got a little bit of way warm up the first two days playing with Rory, a lot of stuff going on,” Åberg said.
“I felt like I handled it well the last two days. I did the same today. I kept my feet where they were and focused on one shot at a time. Hopefully, I’ll do the same tomorrow and play some good golf.”
If he plays well again on Sunday, Åberg will claim his second victory on the DP World Tour in three weeks. He captured his first title at the Omega European Masters two weeks ago Sunday.
That is pretty impressive, considering he just graduated from Texas Tech this past spring.
The former Red Raider has made the game look easy, but he insists that is not the case.
“I wish this game was easy, but it’s not,” Åberg said. “I feel like I’m striking the ball quite well, and I’m just trying to take advantage of playing well.”