7th February 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Van Rooyen ready to defend at Eye of Africa PGA Champs
Defending champion of the Eye of Africa PGA Championship, Erik van Rooyen, says he is looking forward to defending the title he won here last year after taking a few week’s break to prepare for only his first title-defence as a professional golfer.
Teeing off on Thursday at a venue where he claimed his maiden professional title, Van Rooyen –having earned his European Tour playing card via a solid finish on the Challenge Tour’s Road to Oman – comes into this week through an invite and has nothing but a win in his mind.
“I played the pro-am and stepping on that 18th tee again, with everything that happened last year, was a cool moment and it was nice to reflect,” said Van Rooyen. “I feel good right now, had a nice couple of weeks of preparing after the SA Open. The game is in good shape and I’m looking forward to another good week.
And while, like many other players, he feels this golf course is long, the defending champion has a plan of action. “Look, the course is fairly long but it is quite open off the tee,” he noted.
“You can hit driver on almost all the par-fours and along with that, you’ve got greens that are some of, if not, the best in the country. So, if you’re putting well, you’re going to hole some putts and I think that’s the key around here.”
“I love this venue for obvious reasons but more than that, this is the PGA Championship of South Africa. It’s got great history and we all want to get our hands onto that trophy. Especially me, again.”
And while he will hold his cards close to his chest regarding his own game-plan for the week, Van Rooyen is silently confident of his game and abilities. “My plan is to stay in my own bubble out there,” he said.
“There’s obviously a lot of talk about what happened here last year and how I have been playing recently, but for me, it’s about putting that aside and focusing on my game and one shot at a time. I did that very well last year and I’m sure I can do it again.”