PGA Tour

Van Rooyen holds his head high after Mexico heroics

Erik van Rooyen (Getty Images)
Erik van Rooyen (Getty Images)

Cape Town - South Africa's Erik van Rooyen looked at the positives after finishing tied for third at the PGA Tour's WGC-Mexico Championships at Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico on Sunday.

Van Rooyen was in the hunt for his maiden PGA Tour title, but fell three shots short of eventual winner, American Patrick Reed.

The South African star shared the lead at the turn on the final day, but fell out of contention with a double bogey and bogey on the back nine. 

Van Rooyen celebrated his 30th birthday in style by carding a career-low round of 62 on Friday.

Van Rooyen's T3 finish in Mexico City saw him move to 40th in the World Golf rankings and pocket a cool $600 000 (R9 million) for his four-day efforts.

Van Rooyen was attempting to become just the second South African to win a World Golf Championship event after Ernie Els' two wins (2004 and 2010 WGC-Mexico Championship).

Van Rooyen required a solo-second place finish to earn a PGA Tour Special Temporary Membership card.

Despite narrowly falling short, the Cape Town-born golfer couldn't help but beam at one of his best finishes on the PGA Tour.

"You know what, I felt better than I did yesterday, and I think it was a lot more going on yesterday. I got off to a really good start again today. Ten and 12 obviously hurt quite bad," Van Rooyen told reporters on Sunday.

"But you know what, I think I played some really good golf the last four days, and I think I can hold my head high. I mean, there's still so much to play for. Yes, we all want to win, but at the same time, I'm trying to finish as high as I possibly can, so I'm not going to go lie down after a bogey.

"I think we had a really good finish, gave myself a few good chances coming down the stretch, and my game is in great shape. I'm looking forward to the next one."

This week the 30-year-old will compete in Florida at the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort & Spa, starting on Thursday.

- Compiled by Lynn Butler

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