Eddie Pepperell worries what it would mean if Ludvig Aberg makes Ryder Cup team

Eddie Pepperell has questioned what it would really mean about qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team should Ludvig Aberg receive one of Luke Donald’s six captain’s picks in the European Ryder Cup team on Monday. 

Pepperell was speaking to Sky Sports Golf’s Tim Barter during the second round of the Omega European Masters.

The Englishman, who finds himself five strokes off the pace heading into the weekend, believes “you have to respect the qualifying system” when it comes to the European Ryder Cup team. 

Aberg, 23, has only played in eight events as a professional this season. 

The Swede picked up one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour at the John Deere Classic, and another on the DP World Tour at last week’s Czech Masters.

Both of those were a T4

On Friday, Aberg carded a second-round 67 at the Omega European Masters to move to 9-under par and just three strokes behind 36-hole leader Matt Fitzpatrick, who will most certainly be in the European Ryder Cup team.

While Pepperell is mightily impressed with Aberg’s game, he does question whether it is right to hand him a pick in the team given he has only played in three DP World Tour events this season. 

When asked by Barter whether he is surprised Aberg is one of the odds-on favourites for a pick in the European Ryder Cup team, Pepperell replied: “Yes, a little bit.”

Pepperell then added: “I feel like he kind of needed to win or come very close to winning this week to warrant a pick, and if he doesn’t do that and still gets a pick, I worry a little bit what that means for the guys like, whoever is going to become at the expense of that, because they have spent this year playing on this Tour, they’ve done well, it’s a tricky one isn’t it?”

He then used Jon Rahm as an example in 2016, a player who had just burst on the scene on the PGA Tour, but had not played in any DP World Tour events. 

Back then there were just three picks in the European Ryder Cup team, and Rahm was denied one. 

“It’s like Jon Rahm in 2016. Would you have picked him? In hindsight maybe, but you have to respect the qualifying system.

“People like Victor Perez. I know he’s not in great form but he’s still third on the Race to Dubai. Nicolai [Hojgaard] has done well.

“It would be an interesting one and I can see both sides of the coin.

“I know Luke [Donald] played with him in Detroit, and he said it was just as good as when Rory [McIlroy] came out.”


Fitzpatrick carded a 65 to move to 12-under par on day two at the European Masters.

He takes a one stroke lead over Alexander Bjork (64) into the weekend.

Fitzpatrick’s brother Alex Fitzpatrick and Romain Langasque are two shots off the pace on 10-under par following rounds of 65.

Ryder Cup contenders Aberg and Poland’s Adrian Meronk (64) are a further stroke behind on 9-under par.

Meronk had moved into a tie for the lead but finished bogey-double to fall back into the pack. 

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre is hanging on to the final automatic place in the team, and he got up and down from the back of the green at 18 to make the halfway cut on the number at 3-under par. 

Meronk needs to finish T2 with two others or better to push MacIntyre out of the automatic spots in the team. 

Donald will name his six captain’s picks on Monday. 

Will Ludvig Aberg receive a pick in the European Ryder Cup team? Which other players do you think will get a pick? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels. 

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