Van Rooyen snaps up first PGA Tour title at the Barracuda

Erik van Rooyen of South Africa celebrates winning on the 18th green during the final round of the Barracuda Championship (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

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South African Erik van Rooyen claimed his maiden PGA Tour title with a five-point win at the Barracuda Championship on Sunday.

His 50-point tally in the modified Stableford scoring system was helped hugely by six birdies and an eagle on the final day with van Rooyen finishing five clear of American Andrew Putnam.

“Obviously, this was, in my mind, kind of the next step for what I wanted to achieve,” van Rooyen said, who signed off in style with a birdie on 18 at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Course.. “I’ve got big dreams and aspirations, and winning on the PGA Tour was certainly part of that. I’m really, really happy.”

Players received 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. Padraig Harrington was the only Irish player in the field but missed the halfway cut before van Rooyen’s 16-point final round haul decided the fate of the title.

“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.”

The win sees Van Rooyen jump from 139th to 78th in the FedExCup standings with the top-125 after this week’s Wyndham earning spots in the Playoff opener at Liberty National. The 31-year old also guarantees himself a spot in the PGA Championship next year.

“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.”

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