1st June 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Erik loving first season on European Tour
Erik van Rooyen is enjoying his first season on the European Tour and it showed at the Italian Open where he shot a first round seven-under-par 65 to take fourth on the leaderboard at Gardagolf Country Club on Thursday.
“Loving it,” he said of his graduation from the Challenge Tour last year. “It’s events like last week and this week makes you realise why we play this game. It’s absolutely fantastic. Great venue again this week. Loving every minute of it.”
He was third in the top 15 that graduated from the Challenge Tour onto the European Tour. A victory in the 2017 Hainan Open and a share of third and fourth at NBO Golf Classic Grand Final and the Kazakhstan Open respectively helped him a great deal.
Last week he finished tied 20th together with his fellow South African Jacques Kruyswijk and four other players in the BMW PGA Championship in England.
Van Rooyen’s round in Italy saw him finishing two shots behind three overnight leaders, his countryman Richard Sterne, Robert Rock and Laurie Canter.
His front nine which had one eagle on the seventh and three birdies on fourth, sixth and ninth was flawless while he started his back nine with a bogey and suffered another one on 17th.
The 2017 Eye of Africa PGA champion said making the eagle was like a walk in the park for him. “Yeah, hit driver down the middle and think I had about 201 yards. Hit six-iron about six feet. Rolled it in. Pretty simple,”
Van Rooyen’s solid round was a result of the careful play. “Very consistent. Hit a lot of fairways, a ton of greens, and obviously rolled in some putts. Putter is working. I’ve been working hard at it, and it’s nice to see them go in,” he said.