3rd September 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Van Rooyen happy with top 5 in Denmark
Erik van Rooyen seemed to have rediscovered the form that saw him flirt with contention at the 147th Open Championship where he tied 17th, as his final-round 65 in the Made in Denmark championship saw him miss out of the playoff by a single shot at 18-under-par 270 and settle for a top-five finish instead.
“I am really happy,” he said after his round, “but, I don’t know if it’s going to be enough, but I guess I was looking for that one, actually. We want to be greedy as golfers, but I am happy with my finish.”
Solid from the opening round where he made six birdies, dropped three shots and made an eagle on the par-five 11th to sign for a 67, Van Rooyen looked comfortable as he was among the early leaders. A less-than-eventful second round of two-under-par 70 which was characterised by four birdies and two bogeys, followed, and despite going under par on the day, he knows that had he gone two shots lower, he had a real chance at victory on Sunday.
“I think we always expect to play well, but it does not always happen that way,” admitted Van Rooyen, “we always expect the best. I always work hard.”
A big-tournament-type of a player, Van Rooyen found something on Saturday and despite dropping three shots on the day, played some stunning golf. He made three birdies on the front nine but those were threatened by bogeys he made on the fourth and eighth holes. It was coming home, however, where Van Rooyen was on fire. After picking up a birdie on the ninth to turn in 35, he carded two more on the 10th and 11th to make it three birdies back-to-back before a par halted his run. He made two more birdies on 13 and 14 and would have been disappointed with the bogey on 17 which spoiled what was otherwise a flawless back nine.
Nevertheless, the one-time Challenge Tour winner was not done with his exhibition of great skill and high-level competition. His final round was just as subliminal as the previous because while his third round was birdie-laden and eventful, he’d dropped three shots there, a fact he would come to rue as he went on to finish fifth in the tournament he looked like he could win.
He went around the Silkeborg Golf Club layout with relative comfort, making seven birdies to sign for a blemish-free 65 and credits the break he had after the Open for giving him time to work on his game.
“I was at home for five weeks. So, I did have a nice break after the Open,” he said. “But, I was not sitting on the couch. I was working on my game and I think it is showing.”