Erik Van Rooyen gives prestige to Tiger Woods

There are endings that memory retains more than others

by Andrea Gussoni
Erik Van Rooyen gives prestige to Tiger Woods
© Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport

There are endings that memory retains more than others. One of those happened on Sunday in Los Cabos, Baja California that borders the Pacific. The World Wide Technology Championship landed in Mexico at El Cardonal, the first design by Tiger Woods' company in which a PGA Tour tournament was played and found an outcome of those recorded in the record books in statistics.

Data such as that achieved by Adam Long, who took 56 of 56 fairways, which has not happened since 1992 (Claar in the Memorial), which shows that in golf it does not matter how but how many.

Erik Van Rooyen, results

South African Erik Van Rooyen, 33 years old, won in a dream ending.

With 28 strokes (-8) in the second nine holes, coming back two strokes in the last three holes with a birdie-birdie-eagle sequence, this one with a 5-meter putt, something that had not happened since Rickie Fowler won the TPC in a tiebreaker in 2015.

He even had room to spare. He won by two and his card of 63 had started with a bogey on a par 5. It was the second victory on the major world circuit after the victory in the 2021 Barracuda, a minor tournament. "The first hole hurt, but on the second I went and made a 13-meter putt and I thought: let's enjoy this, this is an absurd game," said the winner, who also has a dramatic story behind it.

From Los Cabos he flies this Monday to Minnesota to see Jon Trasamar, an old university classmate from this city, who has had cancer recur and the metastasis has rendered him terminally ill. "He has between six and 10 weeks to live," Van Rooyen revealed.

"I thought about him all day. All I want to do is play nine holes with him. Stories like this make you put everything in perspective. Is it fun to win at golf? It is. I've been playing since I was 8 years old, but I can't. It is important".

During this tournament he has marked his ball with the initials J.T. instead of the musical note with which he identifies it, because, as a guitar enthusiast, music provokes great sensations for Van Rooyen. His victory relegated Camilo Villegas, the Colombian who wanted to give victory to the memory of his daughter, who died in 2020 due to an illness, and Matt Kuchar, the tireless American who at 45 years old has no end, who has played in all 19 editions of the finals of the FedEx Cup and that on a Sunday without bogeys, after the 15th hole, he seemed to have everything won. But Van Rooyen's astonishing ending altered the script.

Tiger Woods