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May 15, 2024

Ludvig Aberg

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Valhalla Golf Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Ludvig Ã…berg is joining us here at the 106th PGA Championship. Welcome to Valhalla and your first PGA Championship. How has the week been and what are your impressions of the golf course?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: It's been a little wet so far but the course is in great shape. I love the zoysia. I love hitting from that, and obviously it's a big-boy golf course. It's tough but it's really nice, and I look forward to playing it.

Q. How is the knee, and is it an issue that you've had before or kind of a new thing?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: Knee's good. It was more of a safety concern last week that I didn't play. I'm consulting with my doctors and I trust them with everything that I have, so it's not bothering me at all this week, and I look forward to playing.

Q. Are you doing anything preventative during the rounds? Are you wearing a brace or anything like that?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: I'm wearing a brace just for safety reasons, but it's nothing that's bothering me. I'm focusing on the golf.

Q. As you look at playing in your very first major a couple months back, what did you see as the biggest key to being so successful there?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: I mean, obviously, Augusta is such a special place, and you can just feel that just walking into the whole -- walking into the grounds. Felt like I really enjoyed it. I feel like a big thing for me when I'm playing golf is try to enjoy it and try to have fun. Once I'm not having fun, I think that's when it goes downhill.

But I think that's how I try to treat every tournament, but I think playing in contention at Augusta makes that a little bit easier.

Q. I was curious if you talked to any other players who played back here in 2014 to get a feel for things to do around the course or what your scouting was like coming out to a place like this?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: I haven't actually spoken to any players. My caddie, Joe, was here with Rickie. They finished up high back in 2014. So he's been here. He's seen it.

Obviously they have added some length since, so a few of those holes are a little bit different. But from what I've understood, the green areas are very similar, and it looks like it's going to be a little bit wet towards the weekend, and hopefully, you know, we'll be able to hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens.

Q. I know you've competed against PGA professional J.J. Killeen in some home matches back in Lubbock? How are you feeling about competing against some of the best club pros in the country this week?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: The last time I played with J.J. he beat me, so I think he told everybody in Lubbock that day. Obviously it's a cool tournament. It's my first time here, so first time playing a PGA Championship. It's a special place, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. When it gets wet and the courses get longer, does it feel like that only suits your game and what you want to do more?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: I think so. I mean, I like to think that I can hit it high and long. That way, you know, you take away a lot of those things, I guess. It's quite nice because the zoysia grass in the fairways, you can actually launch it pretty high with the irons because it's sitting up so high. You can get a little bit more smash on it.

But yeah, I mean, once again, it's a tough golf course. I think everyone is just trying to manage their game the best they can and see where it takes us on Sunday.

Q. Does it remind you of anyplace you played in college?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: Yeah, we were actually talking about it. A few of those holes reminds me a little bit of Whispering Pines where we played conference a couple years ago, mainly because of the zoysia, but also some of the tree-lined holes and some strong par 4s.

So I mean, I love playing tough golf courses. I think it's fun, and obviously a major tournament is a big test.

Q. Your coach was saying that fundamentals have been such a huge part of your golf swing development over the years and something you turn to.

Curious why that is such an important thing for you and how much you think about it during a week like this?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: Yeah, definitely. Most of my work that I do is fundamentals. Normally if something is off, it's because of something in my setup, my grip or my ball position or something like that. All players, every player, they are going to have different tendencies they are always working with, and it's the same way for me.

So I think just keeping those intact, and then come tournament week, you just need to make sure that those are okay, and you just go play and figure it out. Hit different shots. I like to shape it different ways and make sure that I have all those shots in my toolbox. That way I feel ready to play, and that starts, definitely, with the fundamentals.

Q. Do you have an ideal course setup, including things like grasses and things like that where you feel like this situation actually gives me the best opportunity?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: Not really. I mean, not really. I like all of them.

Q. That's not helping me.

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: Honestly, though, I try not to think about the course too much when I play. It is what it is. It's the same for all 150 players in the field. So I try not to pay much attention to it, and then just try to hit the shot the best I can.

Q. So just to follow that up, so if you're not thinking course, let's say you're in the final round of this championship and you're one or two back. Are you always thinking against the leaderboard and the different players then?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: I like to know where I'm at on a leaderboard. I like to feel like it changes a little bit, the way that I play I think. Obviously you know, you try to be aggressive when you can, and when you can't be aggressive, you take a little bit more conservative target.

I like to know if I'm one back or if I'm one ahead. It was the same thing in college. I always looked at the leaderboards when I was playing, and it's the same here. There's some big leaderboards on the golf courses. It's pretty hard to avoid. I like to know where I'm at in the tournament.

Q. Given the state of professional golf and the divide that there is right now and how early you are in your professional career, how close attention are you paying to what's going on outside the course?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: Not a ton to be honest. Obviously I'm still new to this. I'm still kind of getting the gist of all things that comes with professional golf.

You know, it is what it is and all I try to do is play as good of golf as I can.

Q. Still getting your feet wet out on tour, does that free you up and give you a bit of an advantage maybe?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: I think it is what it is, honestly. Obviously I'm still doing a lot of firsts when I'm playing these tournaments. Obviously this week is my first PGA Championship and only my second major. I'm feeling all these things that first-timers do and it's the same thing for me. So I try to focus on the golf.

At the end of the day, this is what I've been wanting to do since I was a little boy and I love doing it.

Q. How do you try to enjoy this whole experience, coming to majors and coming here? What kind of things do you do to really get used to the course and the area?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: I think there are multiple things you can do. I think keeping it fun, I think I don't necessarily view it as my job. I think it's something that I have the privilege to be able to do, and try to view it that way and try to hit different shots and make sure that I don't lose that joy of playing golf. I think it's very important.

So we talk about that a lot, me and my team, and that's what we are trying to do.

Q. Do you try to have that attitude, it's like -- while it's new, that you have been here; that you have been at tournaments and just try to take that same attitude?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: Yeah, I think so. I mean, at the end of the day, that's my personality and I try not to change too much, whether it's the golf courses or if I'm at home.

So I try to keep it the same way and not change too much when I'm in contention at a tournament or if I'm, you know, playing somewhere else.

Q. On the subject of firsts, I'm assuming that you're so young, you have not missed a tournament due to a health issue. Is that correct, and what did you do instead of play a tournament?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: Due to what? I'm sorry, I didn't hear.

Q. I'm assuming that since you're so young, you have never missed a tournament due to a health issue, and is that correct, and what did you do instead of play the tournament?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: Yeah, I've never had any issues before, and obviously I think last week was more of a safety concern more than anything. I was at home making sure that I was going to be ready for this week and prepare myself the best way I could and then be ready to play here.

Q. Did you watch any of it on television?

LUDVIG Ã…BERG: I watched a little bit on Sunday, yeah. It was cool to see. We turned the TV on and I saw Rory was 20-under par, something like that, for the day. So it was pretty cool to see.

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