South African van Rooyen “on the moon” after winning Barracuda golf – Sports


Published on August 09, 2021 08:44

“When it’s your day, it’s your day.”

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – South African Erik van Rooyen birdied the 18th hole with a lucky rebound to win the 2021 Barracuda Championship on Sunday for his first US PGA Tour victory.

The 31-year-old from Cape Town scored 16 points in the fourth round for a total of 50 points and a five-stroke victory over US runner-up Andrew Putnam at the Old Greenwood Course in Truckee, Calif.

“When it’s your day, it’s your day,” van Rooyen said.

Van Rooyen becomes the third South Africa to win the PGA Tour this year, joining Branden Grace and Garrick Higgo. This is the first time that three different South Africans have won the same season since 2010 when Ernie Els, Tim Clark and Louis Oosthuizen did.

“It means everything,” van Rooyen said. “It’s everyone’s dream to play here (North America). Look at my career. I started in South Africa. I won in South Africa and Europe and now here. I am on the moon.

Putnam scored 11 points on Sunday, as did third-placed Scott Piercy in the event which uses the modified Stableford scoring system.

Players are awarded eight points for an albatross, five for an eagle, two for a birdie and none for par. One point is subtracted for a bugy, and three points are subtracted for a double bug or worse.

Van Rooyen got lucky on the 18th when his tee shot sailed to the left into a clump of trees. It hit one of the saplings with a thud and ricocheted down the middle of the fairway.

He hit his 194-yard approach to the green and drained a 10-foot birdie, celebrating with a first pump and a shout.

“I had a massive break of 18,” he said. “It was probably the worst shot I’ve hit all week, but I had a really good rebound. Sometimes it takes a little luck.

The 2017 Johannesburg Open runner-up has already won the European Tour, winning the Scandinavian Invitational in 2019.

Van Rooyen dedicated this victory to his wife and baby, born a month ago. He has been so busy traveling for work that he has hardly spent any time with his new daughter.

“We had a baby a month ago. I’ve only been with her for a week, so this one goes to my wife and daughter.

Putnam, who was looking to become the third player to win the event twice, got off to a flying start with birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie on his first four holes.

He sank his fourth and final birdie of the day on the 16th, but then ran into trouble on the 18th when his finicky tee shot landed in a fairway bunker. He won this event in 2018 for his only PGA title.

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