The golf world is in mourning as the sad news that Jon Trasamar, the collegiate teammate of Erik van Rooyen who inspired the South African to his recent victory at the World Wide Technology Championship, passed away last Saturday of Stage Four melanoma at the age of 33.
The PGA Tour posted news of the Trasamar’s passing though there’s been no word from a no doubt gutted van Rooyen.
Trasamar’s battle was thrust into the spotlight immediately after the sight of Alex Gaugert, van Rooyen’s caddie, falling into the arms of the South African golfer moments after breaking through for a maiden Tour triumph on November 5th on the Tiger Woods designed course in Mexico.
The pair could not be separated for a few minutes and the tears flowed uncontrollably, with van Rooyen delivering one of the most emotional and heart-gripping post-round interviews shortly after.
Van Rooyen entered the week ranked No. 125 in the FedExCup Fall standings, needing to play well over the final three weeks of the season to retain his playing privileges for 2024.
Van Rooyen and Gaugert, another former teammate at Minnesota, learned of Trasamar’s worsening condition two days before the start of the World Wide Technology Championship. They remained in the field, battling their emotions throughout the week.
Van Rooyen admitted to breaking down in his hotel room on Friday. On Saturday, he said a win would “mean everything.” Then, on Sunday, he shot an incredible eight-under 28 on the back nine, including an eagle on the final hole, enroute to a final-round 63 and two-shot victory.
Trasamar’s passing, just six days after van Rooyen’s success, was as though he was ‘gifted’ those six extra days of his life to share victory with his friend.