Van Rooyen another first time winner at Barracuda

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen won the Barracuda Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, finishing with 50 points in the modified Stableford scoring system.

The 31-year-old former University of Minnesota player eagled the par-4 eighth and closed with a birdie on the par-4 18th to record a five-point victory over Andrew Putnam at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Course.

“Erik Erik van Rooyen (Credit: PGA Tour)

After finishing the front nine in the equivalent of four-under 32, van Rooyen played the back nine bogey free, earning six points for his three birdies to claim the victory.

“It’s massive. It’s massive,” said van Rooyen. “It’s been a difficult sort of 18 months for me golf-wise. I haven’t been playing well. There’s been glimpses of it the last six months. But I haven’t been able to put four good rounds together.”

Van Rooyen’s other main professional win was at the 2019 Scandinavian Invitational on the European Tour where he won with a stroke victory over England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick. Following a tied for third at the WGC-Mexico Championship in February 2020, he advanced to a career best 40th on the Official World Golf Ranking.

WITB: Erik van Rooyen

  • Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball
  • Callaway Epic Flash Driver (9º)
  • Callaway Epic Flash FW (15º)
  • Callaway X-Forged UT (2)
  • Callaway Apex TCB (4)
  • Callaway Apex MB 18 Irons (5-PW)
  • Callaway JAWS MD5 (50º, 54º, 58º)
  • Odyssey Toulon San Diego Putter

Van Rooyen was granted Special Temporary Membership until the end of the 2019–20 PGA Tour season after a T20 finish at the 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in August 2020.

Sunday’s win for van Rooyen continues a six-year trend of the Barracuda Championship producing first-time PGA Tour winners. Going back to 2016, Greg Chalmers, Chris Stroud, Putnam, Collin Morikawa, Richy Werenski and now van Rooyen have all earned their first career PGA Tour wins at the Tahoe Mountain Club.

Aaron Baddeley finished in a share of 23rd position to be the best of the Australians. Greg Chalmers finished in a share of 34th position, with Cameron Percy and Rhein Gibson rounding out the Aussies to make the cut.