Nervousness about stopping the USA win in Europe has suddenly turned to excitement in the golf world thanks to one bold wildcard pick.
Team Europe were trounced last time out in Wisconsin in 2021, with a 19-9 score the biggest margin of victory in a Ryder Cup since 1967.
Something remarkable has happened since then, and no, we’re not talking about LIV Golf.
Instead, it’s the emergence of a Swedish phenomenon called Ludvig Aberg, who may end up having a far bigger impact on this tournament than Saudi Arabia’s attempted takeover of the sport.
LIV rebels Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter could well have blocked the 23-year-old’s path, but his generational form may have landed a spot anyway.
The Swede attended Texas Tech University where he won a program-record eight times, and became the first player to ever win back-to-back Big 12 Conference Championship titles.
That dominance continued when he became the first player to gain entry onto the PGA Tour on college merit, and the Aberg hype train hasn’t stopped, going all the way up to his Ryder Cup selection.
Turning professional just three months ago in June, Aberg was already on captain Luke Donald’s radar before he convinced everyone they were watching history with his first pro title.
Coming just 75 days after making the step up to the pro ranks, he won the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre GC in Switzerland and that was enough for Donald.
When he makes his first BMW PGA Championship appearance this week, he will do so as one of 11 players in the field who have won their maiden DP World Tour title this season.
“We obviously knew what he was doing in the college scene,” the captain explained. “You look at what he did in those four years and the only comparables really were Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm. He is that good.
“I played with him in Detroit and was blown away by his game. He continued to impress and I challenged him to come over to Europe and play a couple [of events].
“He was fifth in the Czech Masters and it was like a walk in the park for him and for someone that is so inexperienced it was just so, so impressive.”
He will now become the first player in history to play at a Ryder Cup before appearing in a major.
The comparisons to current Masters champion and Spanish superstar Rahm are valid for a number of reasons, with Aberg the only other player to win back-to-back Ben Hogan Awards as the best college player in the US.
Such a rapid ascent has seen the phenom now set more records in addition to his Ryder Cup inclusion.
Aberg leads Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler in strokes gained off the tee since turning pro, showing the consistency of a top ten player despite only just arriving on the scene.
His mammoth 376 yard drive has earned further comparisons to Rahm, who may well be delighted with his new teammate.
However, should this rise continue, the Spaniard could be left worrying about his future major chances with Aberg going quickly from a friend to a foe.