The European Ryder Cup team has settled on a Palm Beach County flavor. Jupiter’s Shane Lowry was one of six captains’ picks Monday for the Ryder Cup mod The United States outside Rome later this month. In addition to Lowry, fellow resident Jupiter Rory McIlroy and North Palm Beach’s Matt Fitzpatrick were already on the European team, which will be guided by captain — and Jupiter resident — Luke Donald.
Meanwhile, Donald also picked Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose and three rookies – Sepp Straka, Nicolai Højgaard and Ludvig Aberg to fill out the squad that hopes to win back the trophy after losing to the USA in Whistling Straits in 2021. Aberg’s rapid rise in just three months as a pro got a ceiling when the 23-year-old Swede was selected on Monday.
Straka and Højgaard got the call ahead of Adrian Meronk in what was widely seen as Anders’ toughest decision, but it is the presence of Aberg that will excite European golf fans the most. He turned pro in June after being ranked the world’s No. 1 amateur and after being named the best college player in the United States for the second year in a row at Texas Tech. Aberg posted four top-25 finishes in his first two months on the PGA Tour, then headed back to Europe in an attempt to convince Anders that he deserved a Ryder Cup call-up.
Winning the European Masters in Switzerland on Sunday by reeling off four straight birdies late in the final round presented a case Donald just couldn’t ignore.
“He showed yesterday in Crans that he has the potential to be one of golf’s superstars,” Donald said.
Anders noted that Aberg, who has yet to play in a major championship, played the kind of golf on the college stage that only Spain’s Jon Rahm and Norway‘s Viktor Hovland has been producing for the past 20 years.
He said he was “blown away” by Aberg when he played alongside him in the first two rounds of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on the PGA Tour in June, when the Swede shot 65-67.
“I challenged him and said come over to Europe and play for a few weeks,” Donald said. “It was like a walk in the park for him and obviously for someone so inexperienced, it’s so impressive.”
No player has made a quicker transition from the amateur ranks to the Ryder Cup.
“If you would have told me a few months ago that I would be participating in these kinds of conversations, I probably wouldn’t have believed you,” Aberg said.
Fleetwood narrowly missed out on automatic selection via the World Points List but was an obvious choice for his third Ryder Cup appearance. It will be the 43-year-old Rose’s sixth appearance, while Lowry, another major winner, will be playing in his second consecutive Ryder Cup.
Europe has not lost a Ryder Cup on home soil since 1993 and Donald will take four rookies to Rome – MacIntyre also playing in his first – in a bid to avenge the 19-9 loss two years ago.
“They’re going to be strong. They’re always stronger than us on paper and in the world rankings, and of course they had a pretty convincing win two years ago,” Donald said. “We’re definitely not underestimating them. They will be extremely tough opponents. But we will be ready for them.”
This article originally appeared on the Palm Beach Post: Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry on the European Ryder Cup team