December 9 – 15, 2024
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Interview

Read a transcript of the post-Round 3 interview with Madelene Sagström and Ludvig Åberg.

Madelene Sagström & Ludvig Åberg

Sunday, December 10, 2023

THE MODERATOR: Final round 12-under but you mentioned when you came off the green that you wanted one more birdie to close it. How did you feel about today?

LUDVIG ÅBERG: Yeah, I thought it was great. Obviously the format is a lot of fun. Playing with Madelene is a lot of fun, as well. She’s a tremendous golfer and ball striker, so it’s been a pleasure.

THE MODERATOR: What’s been some of the big takeaways of the week playing together?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Mine has been how much I suck at short game compared to Ludvig —

LUDVIG ÅBERG: That’s a bit harsh.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: It’s not been pretty.

It’s been so much fun playing with the guys. It’s been a very big week for us, for women’s golf this week, and showing how good we are with you guys. I mean, I feel like on every team we all contributed equal ways.

It’s been a lot of fun. For me personally it’s a great opportunity to play with Ludvig. He’s just starting his career, so it’s amazing to see him playing tournament golf and just going out, having some fun together.

We’ve got our coach here this week so we had a nice little catch-up with him, so it’s been a fun week.

THE MODERATOR: In this format I feel like a lot of people knew it was going to be challenging. Did you see a 60 out of yourselves with this modified four-ball?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I think we’re both very comfortable in our own games. I think yesterday was probably the hardest format for us. Personally I’ve struggled a little bit with foursomes, both in Solheim Cups and in general. I think it’s kind of hard when you really don’t want to screw up someone else.

I felt comfortable today. I’ve been driving the ball fairly well this week, so I knew I was going to keep him in play from the tee, and then he’s such a great golfer so I knew we were going to have a lot of chances. That was kind of our mindset. We said, should we do something different; like no, let’s go make sure we have two chances and try to make as many birdies as we can.

Just playing our own games is what we do for a living, so it was quite comfortable.

THE MODERATOR: One of the highlights of the day was the eagle on 17. Talk us through that.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Well, it was a little snakey. It was like a double breaker, left to right, right to left. I just tried and have the pace right, trying to set up to have a pretty straightforward birdie putt. But it’s always a bonus when you make those.

It’s just a lot of fun doing that in front of all that crowd over there. It was great.

LUDVIG ÅBERG: Yeah, I was a passenger at times yesterday. Today I hit the drive, I guess. No, but I was just sitting back, relaxing and enjoying it.

Q. What was your overall strategy off the tee? Did you trade balls or how did that work as far as trying to play each other’s golf ball?

LUDVIG ÅBERG: Yeah, we did actually. So Madelene —

THE MODERATOR: We didn’t trade balls. It was your golf ball.

LUDVIG ÅBERG: Madelene putts with a really thick line. I can’t do that; it makes my eyes hurt.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I had to give up on the ball this weekend. LUDVIG ÅBERG: We played my ball, which was nice.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: We’re fortunate because our balls are actually quite similar, so hitting his, the only difference are a little bit of sound for me. The spin is the same. I’m just not used to playing a white ball because I have played a soccer ball. But the veto was put into the soccer ball, unfortunately. So we played Ludvig’s ball.

Q. What did you think of the format today?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: It was cool. It was a little bit more fun, I think, than just the straight-up like better ball. I thought it was kind of cool. You really have to rely on your partner from the tee. It’s not just up to you anymore.

LUDVIG ÅBERG: I mean, every shot is important. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tee ball or a putt. Every shot matters, and I think it was a nice little mix to throw in the switch.

I think we said before the week that keeping track of the formats was going to be one of the bigger challenges, but I thought we did a pretty good job. I don’t think we messed up once actually, so I think that’s a pretty good judgment.

Q. What made it fun, this particular format?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Well, I think we both play four-ball in Solheim and Ryder Cup and then you really just play your own ball.

To be fair, we were kind of in the same spots today —

LUDVIG ÅBERG: Very similar, yeah.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: So I was kind of almost playing my own ball in a way.

But it is different when you can’t really — like you have to change the tee shot. I thought that was really fun. If you’re talking about today specifically — I thought it was different. It just spiced it up a little bit. Something that we’re not really used to, and I think something that for this whole week — we said yesterday, playing foursomes for score I find a lot more difficult than I find playing foursomes in match play. So I thought that was quite tricky. But it was fun. It was cool.

Q. What were you guys’ expectations going into this event, and how did the actual experience compare to those expectations?

LUDVIG ÅBERG: I mean, I think we’re both very confident players. I think we both expect us to play well and compete, and that was the case for this week, even though we played a little bit of a different format.

But I think you always, every time you play a tournament, I think you should have high expectations of yourself, and I think that’s what we did

I think yesterday was obviously a bit of a struggle, but bounced back nicely today I thought and kind of gave us a chance for a high finish. Might not get all the way, but at least we did what we could today, and it was nice to see some putts go in.

Q. The format of playing alongside the ladies and alongside the men, would you encourage other PGA TOUR players to sign up for this next year?

LUDVIG ÅBERG: Oh, yeah, definitely. It’s really good for the game. It builds relationships that — these guys I would never meet anyway, so it was really cool to hang out with some new people, some other people and actually spend time together and play together. I realize that the women’s golf is really, really good.

For me, it was just a really fun week, and I would love to do it again.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Yeah, for us, it’s something that we’ve been waiting for and looking forward to for a long time. I played a couple mixed events before but not in this format.

It’s just amazing. I think to grow golf in general across the board, it’s good to spice it up. It’s good not to just do the same old things anymore.

For everyone that’s been here, I think it’s been a lot of fun for them. Lexi did get a bigger cheer than Rickie did on the tee box yesterday, and I take pride in that. It’s just been a great week to show off our games — even compared to each other. We’ve been having a few bets on the side. I’m currently down 20 bucks. I should probably be down 40 —

LUDVIG ÅBERG: Yeah, that’s true, actually.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Yeah, I should be down 40. But I mean, for us, we want to show how good we are. I think when you really get the comparison against the men, you realize that we can hit a lot of good shots, a lot of good putts, and it’s quite good.

Q. What was the little side game you guys had going?

LUDVIG ÅBERG: We did closest to the pin on Friday on 9. Madelene hit it to maybe 20 feet and I stiffed it, so that was kind of nice. Then today we did closest to the pin on 18. The pin was tough today, by the way.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: You say so. What did you hit, 5-iron?

LUDVIG ÅBERG: Yeah.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I hit 4-hybrid.

I had a shot today where Ludvig was like, I’m hitting 8-iron. We were on the same tee box. I’m like, I also have 8-iron; that can’t be good. But they were both right.

LUDVIG ÅBERG: I chipped mine into the wind.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I did not. No, but it’s just fun things like that we’ve really learned this week about how he plays the game — we’ve been sitting down afterwards, just like I saw this shot, I would have tried to do that, and it’s so much to learn, especially for me, for somebody that’s this good.

He’s got a really great career in front of him. I have so much to learn from him, and I’ve been trying to take any advantage that I can this week.

Q. Ludvig, headed into your first pro off-season. You’ve got a couple weeks. What are you planning?

LUDVIG ÅBERG: Going to a football game next weekend. Soccer, sorry. Soccer game, in England, so I can’t wait for that, then go home, spend some time with some family and friends. I haven’t been in Sweden in a long time, so it’ll be nice to do that and then start back up in January again.

Q. Your off-season plans?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I’m going to Sweden. I’m hoping for a white Christmas in Sweden. Going back before New Year’s to kind of start my preseason, but really looking forward to going home, spending some time with family. It’s also been a bit of a long time. We don’t get to see them as much as we might want to doing this job.

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