13th December 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Van Rooyen expects high Leopard Creek winning score
Erik van Rooyen expects the winning score in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship this week is likely to be just single digits under par after his opening round effort at the newly-revamped Leopard Creek where he shot two-under-par 70 on Thursday.
Van Rooyen made five birdies, but bogeys on the par three 12th which was on his front nine, another one on the 17th and the last one on the seventh, which was his 16th, put something of a brake on his progress.
“I have no idea what the winning score will be like for the week. If it plays like today, I saw one guy was at five-under, so we might not even get to double digits if it stays like this,” he said.
The 28-year-old might not be sure about the winning score for this week, but that he will want to better his previous performances at Leopard Creek: He had a share of 32nd in 2016 and of 31st on the previous year.
“I had a good morning,” he said of his attempt this year. “I loved it, but it was not a good finish. I think it was a pity. I mean the seventh, it is one of those holes where you really have to step up and hit a good one and I didn’t, pity about that one. But all in all, I am satisfied about the rest of the round.”
The 2017 Eye of Africa PGA Championship winner is impressed with the changes at Leopard Creek. “It is great. I think the different type of grass probably makes the biggest difference. Greens are much firmer, but I think some of the changes are incredible. I love it.”
Van Rooyen believes that the weather conditions for the week will also be favourable. “We had the best of the weather. It is warmer, you know. My darkest outfit for the week this morning and from here on it’s all white. I think tomorrow it’s going to be scorching. So, I have to rehydrate this afternoon and just stay in the shade,” he said.