• Van Rooyen, Sterne book Open spots

    Erik Van Rooyen
    Van Rooyen has a Major game

    +Erik van Rooyen and Richard Sterne were among five players to earn playing privileges at the Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club next month via the Race to Dubai rankings.

    The pair were both ranked inside the top 20 after Sunday’s cut-off date and will head to Northern Ireland to tee it up in the year’s final Major.

    Van Rooyen made his Major debut with a top 20 at last season’s Open and heads into the event as one of the country’s in-form players. He banked a top 10 at last month’s US PGA Championship and made it into the weekend at Pebble Beach earlier this month. The South African has been knocking on the door of a maiden European Tour victory for a while and has finished second this season at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and the Trophee Hassan II.

    Sterne, at 16th on the Race to Dubai, earned his place primarily on the back of the 780 Race to Dubai points gained thanks to his runner-up finish in a Rolex Series event at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA. The six-time European Tour winner will be making his eighth Open appearance after missing out last season.

    American David Lipsky, who won the final event of 2018 at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek, and countryman Kurt Kitayama, who won the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita, and Robert MacIntyre were the other players to seal a place at The Open.

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