Rookie Ludvig Aberg of Sweden had a lucky number this weekend.
The 24-year-old Aberg shot nine-under-par 61 for the second straight day to claim his first PGA Tour victory, winning the 14th RSM Classic by four strokes over Adam Svensson of Canada on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.
“This is beyond my dreams,” said Aberg, who captured the Omega European Masters on the DP World Tour in September. “It’s been six months I’ll never forget. This is what you dream of as a kid. This is the sport I love and am going to love for a long time. If you told me this a couple of months ago, I would not believe you. To be in this position, I need to pinch myself in the arm.
“I think the whole concept of winning a tournament, I just fell in love with it. I just absolutely love it. There’s just something very weird and special about it. You know, you just want to do it again and again and again.
“I don’t try to copy anyone. I don’t try to emulate anyone. I just try to play my own game and trust that it’s good enough.”
Aberg, who graduated from Texas Tech in June and earned his PGA Tour card as the No. 1 player in the PGA Tour University Rankings, collected 10 birdies in the final round and made his lone bogey in 72 holes at No. 12 while recording a score of 29-under-par 253.
His 61-61 finish set a PGA Tour record for lowest score in the last 36 holes, beating by one the mark shared by Matt Jones in the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2022 and Patrick Rodgers at Sea Island in 2019.
In addition, Aberg’s birdie on the last hole allowed him to tie the 72-hole PGA Tour scoring record of 253 set by Justin Thomas at the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.
“I think the sky’s the limit for (Aberg),” said Hughes, who won the 2016 RSM Classic. “He’s got the whole package. He’s got a good demeanor, doesn’t get too up or down. I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of him for the next few years.
“He’s kind of the modern-day player. I mean, No. 5 is probably the prime example of that. I’m playing left of that bunker and he flies it onto the green and two-putts for birdie. So, it was a super impressive shot that he not only hit long, but he hit it that straight.”
Hughes, who shot 60 in the third round, closed with a bogey-free 63, while Tyler Duncan birdied five of the first eight holes en route to a bogey-free 63 to finish seven shots behind in a tie for third with rookie Eric Cole of Palm Springs, who birdied four of the last six holes for a 67.
Defending champion Adam Svensson of Canada birdied five of the first nine holes on his way to a bogey-free 62 and wound up 10 back in a tie for fifth with Ben Kohles, who birdied four holes on each nine in a 63, and Denny McCarthy, who birdied three of the last four holes on the front nine in a bogey-free 65.
Ben Griffin made the last three of his nine birdies his final three holes in a bogey-free 61 and finished 11 strokes behind in a tie for eighth with Ryan Moore, who had a bogey-free 65, Austin Eckroat, who made six birdies in another 65, and Greyson Sigg, who carded a bogey-free 66.
Chris Kirk, who won the 2013 RSM Classic, eagled the 15th hole and tied for 28th after a second straight 66, Camilo Villegas of Colombia, who won the World Wide Technology Championship last week in Los Cabos, Mexico, had a second straight 68 to tie for 58th, and Kevin Kisner, who won this event in 2015, struggled to a 74 and wound up 78th and last among players who made the cut.
This was the seventh and final tournament of the inaugural PGA Tour Fall Series.
There are two unofficial PGA Tour events left on the schedule this year, the Hero World Challenge which is hosted by Tiger Woods on the Albany Golf Course in New Providence, The Bahamas, starting on Nov. 30, and the Grant Thornton Invitational at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., which begins on Dec. 8.
Woods, who has been battling a leg injury the last few years, announced that he will play in the Hero.
The 2024 PGA Tour season will start, as usual, with the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii, which will begin on Jan. 4, followed by the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, which will kick off on Jan. 11.
For complete results, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard