The Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf tour has been dealt its latest setback, after arguably the most exciting prospect in the sport issued a clear rejection.
LIV is still in the celebratory throes of acquiring the services of Spanish superstar Jon Rahm, in a deal reportedly worth within the region of an eye-watering £450m.
The breakaway golf tour and arch rival of the PGA is still intent on splashing the cash and securing the world’s best players, but this week the youngster seen as the heir to Tiger Woods has said no, and detailed exactly why.
Swedish youngster Ludvig Aberg, who shot into the mainstream this year after being named as a shock pick for the European Ryder Cup team, has been closely monitored by the powers that be at LIV.
Now, Aberg has admitted that offers have been officially pushed in his direction, but his mind has been made up to remain with the PGA Tour.
As reported by Golf Digest, the 24-year-old explained: “There were a number of red flags, which is not good. We realized that I could potentially burn a lot of bridges, and I wasn’t interested in that.
“When I look back, I am very confident in my decision. I will never chase money; what I do is compete. I did the right thing.”
He added: “I want to play against the best, because I am a competitive person and like to compete against the best players,” Aberg said. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that at the moment, it’s a bit more fragmented.”
“When I look at the PGA Tour and the competitions there, there is so much history around all the competitions. And that’s what I like, that’s what I go for. But then you have to respect everyone’s decisions.”
Aberg has gone from strength to strength in recent months, with 2023 very much standing as his breakout year as a golfer.
After going 2-2 in the Ryder Cup under the guidance of Luke Donald and his team, Aberg’s season saw a further surge as he notched a runners-up finish in the Sanderson Farms Championship before taking his first top honour with a four-shot victory in the RSM, carding 29 under for the week.
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When he claimed his first PGA Tour title in November, Aberg left many senior pros terrified. Some were even overheard discussing him in a coffee line before a morning round, referring to the starlet in worried voices as “the next f*****g Tiger Woods.”
His maiden PGA Tour win at the RSM Classic has moved him up to 32nd in the world rankings and he is still yet to play in a major. That moment will likely arrive next April when, barring injury, he will almost certainly be part of the field at Augusta National which will compete for The Masters.
All-time great Woods has won the Green Jacket on five occasions but there is every chance that Aberg could be trying it on for size at the first attempt.
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