Ludvig Aberg Takes 1-Shot Lead at RSM Classic with 61
Ludvig Aberg ran off four birdies and an eagle over a five-hole stretch on the back nine Saturday, not so much to pull away but just to keep pace.
Mackenzie Hughes narrowly missed a putt for 59. Eric Cole flirted briefly with a sub-60 round at Sea Island. A half-dozen players had at least a share of the lead at some point.
“He was at 20-under 192, one shot ahead of Cole (61) and two clear of Hughes (60).”
Aberg began his big run with an 8-foot birdie putt on the 13th. He chipped in from 75 feet on the next hole, made a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-5 15th, holed another 8-footer on the 16th and capped it off with a tee shot that plopped down a foot from the hole at the par-3 17th.
As for players who say they aren’t aware of a chance to shoot 59, Hughes is not one of them.
Right behind him was Cole, chipping away and making it look easy. Nothing was simple about the par-5 15th, where his tee shot hopped out of a bunker and stayed near the edge.
Aberg had the final say Saturday.
It could be quite the battle on Sunday at Sea Island.
Cole has reached the second stage of the FedEx Cup playoffs and already assured of being in all the $20 million signature events next year. A victory would seal that honor.
Aberg winning might give him the nod, particularly given his short season. He was the No. 1 player in PGA Tour University, giving him a tour card. He already has three top 10s, along with his first pro win at the European Masters, which secured his spot on the Ryder Cup team for Europe. Now he’s trying to close out the PGA Tour season with a win.
Tyler Duncan shot 62 and was three behind at 17-under 195.
The RSM Classic is the final event of the PGA Tour season, with the top 125 securing full cards for 2024. Ryan Moore came in at No. 128 — that after a tie for fifth in the Bermuda Championship last week — and shot 62. He was seven shots behind, probably too far behind to catch Aberg, but in good shape to keep his card.