Van Rooyen best of SA as Hatton wins at Wentworth

Oct 11, 2020 | Featured, South Africans abroad

While Tyrell Hatton was realising a boyhood dream with his victory in the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, Erik van Rooyen turned another fast finish into a share of 27th to be the leading South African in the field.

Hatton closed with a brilliant five-under-par 67 to put a yawning four-stroke gap between himself and his nearest pursuer, France’s Victor Perez. The 19-under winning total was 14 strokes clear of Van Rooyen, who was joined by young southpaw Garrick Higgo at five-under for the tournament after the rookie rounded out a tough Sunday with a level-par 72.

After turning in one-over 36, with two bogeys and a double holding him back from taking advantage of his three birdies in his opening nine, Van Rooyen came flying home with three birdies and an eagle-three on the closing hole to climb 17 spots on the leaderboard.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout also carded a final-round 72 to finish in a share of 40th, while Thomas Aiken, the only other South African to make the cut, shared 60th place after a closing four-over 76.

Hatton received a photo from his mother before he started the final round, showing him as a five-year-old standing at the 18th green.

“It was a pretty cool picture for mum to send me this morning,” Hatton said. “I guess a little bit of added motivation, because it was obviously a dream back then.

“This is the flagship event for the European Tour, it’s got such history, and to add my name to the list of winners is very special and it’s a dream come true for me.

“From walking the course as a five-year-old and hoping one day I’d be inside the ropes, to now holding this trophy is an amazing feeling.”

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