Erik van Rooyen birdied the 72nd hole to finally add ‘European Tour winner’ to his CV after a final round 64 at the Scandinavian Invitation, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
It was final day packed with drama at every turn. The South African was forced to dig deep after a thrilling fightback by Matthew Fiztpatrick, the top-ranked player player in the field.
Before his shenanigans at the end, home favourite Henrik Stenson aced the sixth to draw level with Van Rooyen.
But in the end, there would be no denying Van Rooyen. His birdies at 3 and 5 were accompanied by gains at 8 and 9 before a two to start his back nine saw him stretch ahead.
His lead was three with a few to play before Fitzpatrick’s finish which saw him play his last seven in three under and the last two in two under.
Van Rooyen had knocked on the door so many times over the past two seasons and even admitted to nerves coming down the last. Those nerves were inflamed by his day’s first bogey at the penultimate hole.
He came up short in going for the final green in two and then maybe got too much of kick from his adrenaline with his chip which left him more than he would’ve liked for the win.
Van Rooyen lined up the putt and stroked it home.
He left his putter hanging in midway as he punched out his excitement as he was swarmed by fellow pros and his coach on the final green with his ball safely nestled at the bottom of the cup.
A first win, a final round 64 and a move up to ninth in the Race to Dubai.
A round to remember, a career finally given it’s due lift-off. Watch him go …
Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images