Van Rooyen edges closer to place in PGA Tour season finale

Aug 29, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

Erik van Rooyen edged closer to a possible spot in the PGA Tour’s season finale when he carded a five-under-par 67 on Saturday in the third round of the BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland.

After rounds of 67 and 68 in his first two rounds, Van Rooyen stayed in a share of 10th at 14-under-par for the tournament after his third bogey-free round in a row. He made five birdies, including a burst of three in the last five holes, as he finished 54 holes seven shots behind the leaders Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay who were on 21-under. They led by three from Sungjae Im of Korea.

“I had to stay patient,” said Van Rooyen. “I haven’t made a bogey in the last two days, and I’ve played really good golf. I was frustrated leaving the course yesterday knowing how well I played and not fully capitalising on it, and I felt like I was in a similar boat coming off the 13th green there. My caddie, just said look, man, this is the exact time to be patient; this is why you train. He really helped me out there today.

“Then, making those great putts on 14, 15, and then the beauty on 17 gives me some nice momentum for tomorrow.”

Van Rooyen is projected to finish 33rd on the FedEx Cup rankings if things stay exactly as they are, and only the top 30 will advance to next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. “I’ve got nothing to lose,” he said. “Atlanta will take care of itself. I know Bryson and some of those boys are flying, but it’s a funny old game, so I’m focused on this tournament and trying to put myself in contention with a couple holes left.

“I’m aware that making the top 30 will get me into all the majors for next year, but what can I do about it? Not much, so I can just go play good golf tomorrow.”

Behind him, Charl Schwartzel is in a share of 14th after a third-round 68 took him to 11-under. He is projected to climb to 51st in the FedEx Cup, and he will almost certainly not be playing in Atlanta.

Louis Oosthuizen, on the other hand, is in 11th, and his superb seven-under 64 in the third round put him in a share of 32nd for the tournament. That projects him to 13th and he will be playing the Tour Championship.

Branden Grace signed for a four-under 68. He shares 58th, and it’s almost impossible for him to get into the top 30. He is projected to finish 57th at this point.

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