12th July 2017 | Sunshine Tour
Erik aiming for decent finish in Italy
Two top-20s and two missed cuts in his last four tournaments on the Challenge Tour have left Erik van Rooyen in 42nd spot on the Road to Oman ahead of this week’s Italian Challenge Open by Lyoness in Sardinia.
Staying inside the top 45 is crucial as the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final looms in November, and the top 45 players fight it out for one of the 15 places on the 2018 European Tour up for grabs for top players on the Challenge Tour.
One of those missed cuts came last week in the Prague Golf Challenge, but he will draw inspiration from his share of 13th in the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge the week before that and his share of 17th a week earlier in the Made in Denmark Challenge.
He will want to harness his driving ability – he ranks third on the tour in driving distance statistics, averaging 320.9 yards. That puts him in third place overall, well clear of the tour average of 292.6 yards. Clearly, marrying that with accuracy is what he will be after.
And putting, as always, is something which he will want to work at. He has averaged 29.8 putts per round so far, putting him in 140th position on the tour. Even a small improvement in that department will see him climb the rankings dramatically and put him in a position to push for a maiden win on the Challenge Tour.
He pulled off his maiden Sunshine Tour win in February, when he took the Eye of Africa PGA Championship. Taken with five other top-10s on the Sunshine Tour, last season showed he belongs at the highest level, and a win in Sardinia will give him a leg up in his quest to get on to the European Tour.