Söderberg tops Asian Swing to earn place at the US PGA Championship


Wednesday May 8, 2024

Sebastian Söderberg has been in a rich vein of form in recent weeks with a couple of runner-up finishes followed by a tied third in China last week to secure his place in the second Major of the year, the US PGA Championship in Valhalla.

The Swede has been trending for some weeks now with a runner finish in the Hero Indian Open with rounds of 71, 67, 70, 67, before backing it up the following week with another runner up spot at the ISPS HANDA Championship (66, 64, 69, 67).

Söderberg showed top form again at last week’s Volvo China Open but was ultimately left to rue one that got away. He was the pace setter for much of the tournament – reduced to three rounds – after opening with a nine-under 63 before backing it up with a second round 65. A closing 72 was his undoing and the 33-year-old had to settle for tied third behind winner Adrian Otaegui.

“I’ve been very consistent the last three or four weeks, playing really well,” said Söderberg after his tied third in China. “Right now, it hurts a little bit not coming out on top here, but I’ve been playing really good golf for the last four events.

The upshot of the Swede’s model of consistency is that he finished top of the Asian Swing at the conclusion of the fourth counting event to book his place in the season’s second Major.

As part of an exemption category set by the PGA of America, the top three players on the final Asian Swing Rankings earned exemptions into the US PGA Championship at Valhalla in Kentucky. Söderberg was joined by Keita Nakajima, who won his maiden DP World Tour title at the Hero Indian Open, and Otaegui who had double the reason to celebrate after his victory in China vaulted him into the top three.

Speaking about his upcoming trip to the United States, Söderberg said: “I will try to get there fairly early, get there three or four days early. I’m sure I will get a practice round with one or two other Swedes, hopefully, and take it from there.”

Fellow JMC Sport player Tom McKibbin has also been in great form this season with 10 cuts made in 11 starts in only his second full season as a professional on the DP World Tour.

“Yeah, it’s been a really steady start to the year. It’s probably the best spell of golf I’ve played in my career to date. I’ve been very consistent and up there most weeks,” said McKibbin, who this week helped launch the new NI Open presented by Tom McKibbin, a Challenge Tour event played at Galgorm in July, the venue where he is also the Touring Professional.

“It’s been lovely, I’ve been playing nicely all year and not too much stress really. It’s been really enjoyable and I’m looking forward to getting back and playing in Europe all summer.”

Such consistency saw the Northern Ireland golfer finish fourth at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, tied seventh in the ISPS HANDA Championship and tied ninth in the Jonsson Workwear Open. In all he has enjoyed eight top 25 finishes in 2024.

“Since the start of the year, it’s been very consistent, I’ve been doing everything right. And obviously my second year out here, it’s a little bit easier, I know what to expect, I know some of the courses we play.

“I’m just trying to do all the right things and they are paying off,” added McKibbin.