US Open: Ludvig Aberg has learned from the Masters missteps and leads

Ludvig Åberg found his feet at the US Open on Friday and became solo leader after 36 holes. He posted a 1-under 69 to move to 5-under overall and has a one-shot lead heading into Saturday’s third round.

Once again, the former Texas Tech Red Raider is competing for a major in 2024. He played exceptionally well at Augusta National, another tough golf course. Åberg finished second to world number 1 Scottie Scheffler at this year’s Masters.

But he made a number of mistakes along the way, most notably on the 11th hole, which cost him a chance at a Green Jacket. As such, Åberg will have the opportunity to put these experiences into practice this weekend in North Carolina.

“I think Augusta proved to me that I could be in that position,” Åberg said.

“It was more of a justification that you could be there and compete on Sunday. The golf course also played very difficult. It took a lot of patience and discipline, just like this one. I feel like the experiences I had in April were great. Hopefully we can discover similarities between them.”

The young Swede continued to roll on Friday at Pinehurst No. 2. He remained extremely consistent, hitting 12 of 14 fairways and finding 14 of 18 greens. The 24-year-old has missed a total of just two fairways and six greens in the first two days.

To date, he leads the field in both total strokes gained and strokes gained off the tee.

Still, he didn’t have his best day on Friday, even though he recorded three birdies and two bogeys in his round. Still, his lap was consistent enough to move him up the leaderboard and into the solo lead.

“I felt like I hit it really well today,” Åberg said.

Ludvig Åberg, PGA Tour

Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA Tour via Getty Images

“It was quite a challenge and it is not an easy golf course. I felt like we stayed very disciplined, stayed very patient and tried to hit our targets all the time and see how many good shots we could get today and see where that ends up.

He looks to become the first player in 110 years to win on his US Open debut. Francis Ouimet famously did this in 1913 as an amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, which many believe put the US Open on the map. Other experts call Ouimet’s victory the most important victory in professional golf history.

Nevertheless, the US Open has turned into golf’s toughest test, with Pinehurst taking no prisoners.

“I think a US Open should be difficult,” he said.

‘It’s supposed to be difficult. It should challenge every aspect of your game, and I think it really does. But I’m super happy with the way things have gone in the last few days, and hopefully we can keep this going.”

Despite the difficulty, Åberg knows this circuit quite well. He played a U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst in 2019, but didn’t advance past the round of 32. That experience taught him a lot about how to navigate this tricky golf course.

“I think with the way the greens do when it gets really firm, there’s not really any rescue areas; you have to make the waves and see where it lands,” Åberg said.

“If you don’t succeed, you’re going to have a really tough short game shot. I think it is a challenging golf course, but that is how it should be.”

Åberg and Bryson DeChambeau form the final duo for the third round of the US Open.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Follow us for more golf coverage @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.