It was Erik van Rooyen’s turn to shoot a 10-under-par 62 on Sunday as he raced 21 places up the PGA Tour’s American Express leaderboard in La Quinta, California to finish in a share of sixth.
In a tournament that winner Jon Rahm scathingly referred to as a ‘putting contest’, Van Rooyen’s 72-hole tally of 23-under-par was four shots off the pace. In the end, Rahm broke rookie Davis Thompson’s heart after the American’s 50-footer for birdie on the 17th clipped the flagstick and stayed out. That was after Rahm had made birdie on 16 to take the lead.
Van Rooyen made birdies on one and four in a solid start. Then he chipped in for eagle on the fifth, and his great scoring got a great lift from that. Birdies on seven and eight saw him turn in six-under-par 30, and he made four more birdies on his way home.
One shot back from Van Rooyen on 22-under and in a share of 11th were Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Garrick Higgo. Higgo had a superb nine-under-par 63 in his closing round to climb 16 places, and Bezuidenhout, who had a 62 of his own in the third round, finished things off with a three-under 69.
Dean Burmester had a level-par 72 in the final round, and finished up in a share of 54th.