Van Rooyen surges to 1st PGA Tour win at Barracuda

Aug 9, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

With reporting from

Erik van Rooyen won the Barracuda Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, finishing with 50 points in the modified stableford scoring system.

“Obviously, this was, in my mind, kind of the next step for what I wanted to achieve,” Van Rooyen said. “I’ve got big dreams and aspirations, and winning on the PGA Tour was certainly part of that. I’m really, really happy.”

Van Rooyen, the 31-year-old former University of Minnesota player from South Africa, eagled the par-four eighth and closed with a birdie on the par-four 18th for a five-point victory over Andrew Putnam at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Course.

Players receive eight points for an albatross, five for eagle, two for birdie and zero for par. A point is subtracted for a bogey, and three points are taken away for a double bogey or worse.

Van Rooyen had a 16-point final round, making the eagle, six birdies and a bogey.

“I just stayed so patient,” Van Rooyen said. “I saw that Andrew Putnam got off to a really, really quick start. He was 45 points pretty early on. And there’s really nothing I could do about that. I’ve got to put one foot in front of the next. And I did that. And then the eagle on eight was just a massive boost.”

Van Rooyen jumped from 139th to 78th in the FedExCup standings, with the top 125 after the Wyndham Championship next week earning spots in the Playoff opener at Liberty National. He earned a spot in the PGA Championship next year but not the Masters because the event is being played opposite a World Golf Championships event – the FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee.

“It’s massive. It’s massive,” Van Rooyen said. “It’s been a difficult sort of 18 months for me golf-wise. I haven’t been playing well. There’s been glimpses of it the last six months. But I haven’t been able to put four good rounds together. So I was well aware of the position I was in going into the playoffs, knowing that I’ve only got eight rounds left to make that cut.

“And to win here this week, I mean, under the conditions, you know, the pressure that I was under, I’m going to take so much confidence from this.”

Putnam scored 11 points on the first four holes with an eagle on the par-five second and three birdies, then had two birdies and a bogey on the final 14 holes. He won the 2018 event for his lone PGA Tour title.

Scott Piercy was third with 44 points after an 11-point day. Third-round leader Adam Schenk had a five-point round to finish with 43.

Branden Grace finished in a share of 36th with 28 points after making seven points in the final round. MJ Daffue was on 22 points after scoring seven on Sunday, and he was in a share of 49th.

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