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Erik van Rooyen Erik van Rooyen
I prefer courses that are tight, challenging. I think I play well when the courses are tough.

Erik van Rooyen

Erik van Rooyen

South Africa has an illustrious history of producing world-class players and major champions, and many believe that Erik van Rooyen has everything it takes to play a significant part in writing the next chapter in the country's golfing journey.

Growing up in Victoria, Erik enjoyed and excelled at playing team sports like rugby and cricket, but golf is ingrained in his family's DNA: "My granddad played golf and whenever we were at his house for Christmas or whatever we'd be fooling around with his clubs. Then, when I was about eight, I'd go to the range with my dad, hitting balls with his clubs.” It wasn`t until his family moved to a small town near George; a golf mecca in South Africa on the Western Cape, that he really caught the golf bug.
"I was 14, I started playing junior events and it took over from there.” Turning professional in 2013, success didn`t come over night for Erik. After leaving college, he went home to South Africa to play on the Sunshine Tour for four years until securing his maiden victory in 2017. Only eight months later he claimed his debut win on the Challenge Tour at the Hainan Open, which helped him to a 3rd place finish on the money list and the opportunity to compete on the European Tour in 2018. "I`m just climbing the ladder gradually, making the right decisions and doing the right things. I'm a particularly disciplined person when it comes to my job.”
After a promising debut season, he catapulted himself fully into the world's microscope at the 2019 PGA Championship, at the notoriously brutal Bethpage Black, where he finished tied 8th. A couple of months later his impressive form continued on the major stage, as he turned heads at The Open Championship with his unorthodox ankle-revealing tapered trousers, eventually finishing in a tie for 20th.

I still remember those first big moments in golf quite vividly. I remember the first tike I flushed it, almost by accident, and running over to my dad shouting 'did you see that?'

A month later, his fine form culminated in what is perhaps the highlight of his career to date, as the golf world watched Erik birdie the 72nd hole to claim his maiden European Tour title at the Scandinavian Masters, closing the event with a brace of 64s to beat Matt Fitzpatrick by a single shot.
Proving himself to be a player for the big stage, a 3rd place finish at the WGC Mexico Championship added to this string of stellar performances and landed Erik into the the world's top 50 in the Official Golf World Rankings. His Masters invite was duly posted on Instagram at the start of 2020 - a landmark in the journey of every golf professional.

"I always thought I'd get here, to be honest. I always knew I had the ability and self-belief. But it's only when you actually do it, right? That's when you know you can hang with the big boys and compete at the highest level.” When the Coronavirus interrupted the season for three months in early 2020, Erik not only turned his new home in Florida into a state of the art training facility, he also found the time to work on his second passion: playing guitar.
"My guitar skills have definitely improved in 2020. I've upgraded my collection, bought a new amplifier making way too much noise for the neighbours.” During the lockdown period, Erik even asked his Instagram followers to suggest guitar riffs he should start working on. "That was a big mistake,” he laughingly admitted "now I'm challenged to play Eddie van Halen or Mark Knopfler licks. There`s no way… I'm a professional golfer, playing guitar is just a hobby.”

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Erik van Rooyen
Erik van Rooyen
Erik van Rooyen
Erik van Rooyen
Being a professional athlete, Erik couldn`t say no to a challenge like that and he quickly realized the parallels between his profession and his hobby. "The fun thing was, that I had the time to practice and get better. It`s the same approach to playing golf: I want to get better every single day I'm at it.”

Erik's performances over the past 18 months prove that he feels right at home on the biggest stages and the hardest courses golf has to offer. He is not afraid of being challenged, neither by opponents nor by the game itself. "I prefer courses that are tight, challenging. It cuts away half the field. If you think about Bethpage - it`s setup was incredibly hard. I shot one-over-par and finished top 10. I think I play well when the courses are tough.”
Erik van Rooyen

Erik van Rooyen


Age: 30 Years old
Turned professional in: 2013
Birthplace: Bellville, Capetown (South Africa)
Achivements:
  • 2017 Eye of Africa PGA Championship (Sunshine Tour)
  • 2017 Hainan Open (Sunshine Tour)
  • 2019 Scandinavian Invitation (European Tour)
  • 2019 T2 Turkish Airlines Open (European Tour)
  • 2019 2. Trophee Hassan II. (European Tour)

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