By Jeff Moeller, Florida Sports Wire
ST. SIMONS INSLAND, Ga. – Being confident and bogey-free is the mix every golfer would love to have.
If you’re A relatively unknown golfer, it certainly is a first step toward gaining notoriety. Sunday’s final round certainly has all the makings of following the script.
Ludvig Aberg fit the bill nicely Saturday afternoon.
Aberg finished with a 9-under and bogey free 61 to help himself to a 20-under lead heading into Sunday’s final round of the RSM Classic at the Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simon Island.
The 24-year-old Sweden, who just turned pro this year, is seeking his first career win on the circuit, and has three top-10 finishes from 2022-to the present.
That has been part of the uniqueness and charm of the RSM Classic. It often is the showcase and launching pad for a budding golfer.
For Aberg, he is simply sticking with his plan.
“I try to do the same thing every hole that I play, but sometimes it just seems a little bit easier,” He said. “I stayed patient today, and I feel like I did a good job of that. The first three or four holes are not easy, so I stayed patient through those and made a few nice par putts. Luckily, it paid off today.”
Aberg’s birdie on the par-4 13th hole ignited a late run. The highlight was a chip-in for a birdie on the 14th. He fired birdies or better on five of the final six holes.
Yet, Aberg hasn’t distanced himself from the field. Eric Cole carded eight birdies, and is one shot behind Aberg, and Mackenzie Hughes fired a 60, and he is two shots off the lead.
Cole is looking for his first career win and has six top-10 finishes in the past year, while Hughes had two career wins and has three top-10 finishes in the past year.
Aberg, who is a former Texas Tech alum, has played the first three rounds of the tournament like a seasoned veteran, and he is cautiously optimistic about cashing in on the $8 million payday late Sunday afternoon.
“I had a few of those experiences when you’re in the lead or close to the lead in tournaments,” noted Aberg. “Even in college, you feel that pressure, and your heart rate gets amped up a little bit.
“It’s natural, and it’s a part of human behavior, but I try to take it for what it is and work on it.”
So far, everything has been working out well for him.
Notes: Nico Echavarria recorded a hole-in-one at No. 6 (9-iron from 179 yards), his first career ace on TOUR…The top three players on the leaderboard all set or tied their career-low score on TOUR (Åberg and Cole card career-low 61s; Hughes ties his career-low with a 60)… The RSM Classic is the final event of consideration for the Arnold Palmer Award, given annually to the PGA TOUR’s Rookie of the Year Åberg turned professional following the NCAA Championship in May and became the first player to join the TOUR directly out of college by finishing No. 1 in the PGA TOUR University Ranking…Cole is the only rookie in the 2022-23 class who qualified for the BMW Championship, finishing No. 43 in the FedExCup standings…both players are in search of their first career PGA TOUR title; Åberg’s best result on TOUR is a runner-up at the 2023 Sanderson Farms Championship (lost in a playoff) and Cole is a two-time runner-up (P2/2023 Classic in the Palm Beaches, T2/2023 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP).