An eagle on the last hole gives van Rooyen the PGA Tour title in Mexico.
An eagle on the last hole gives van Rooyen the PGA Tour title in Mexico.

Erik van Rooyen of South Africa, motivated by a sick friend, made an emotional long eagle putt on the last hole to win the US PGA Tour World Wide Technology Championship in Mexico by two shots.

That was Van Rooyen’s best shot. He won his second US tour title and added it to his 2021 Barracuda Championship win.

He shot a nine-under par 63 and a 27-under par total of 261 at Cardonal at Diamante in Los Cabos, which was the first PGA Tour event to be held on a course built by Tiger Woods. He played the last five holes in five-under and the back nine holes in eight-under 28.

His walk-off eagle gave him a two-shot win over Matt Kuchar and Camilo Villegas, who were tied for first place in the third round.

Van Rooyen broke down in tears as he talked about his close friend Jon Trasamar’s battle with cancer. “I was calm because there’s bigger stuff in life than golf,” he said.

Van Rooyen said, “Every shot that day was for him.” “When you’re playing for something bigger than winning some silly trophy it puts it in perspective and at the end of the day whether I won here or I lost here it really didn’t matter.”

After being behind to start the day, van Rooyen bounced back with birdies at the second and sixth holes to get back on track.He then made four more birdies in a row at the 10th, 11th, and 12th holes, as well as one at the 14th. With birdies at 16 and 17, he tied Kuchar for the lead at 25-under.

Kuchar and Villegas were tied at the start of the day after a round that included both an eagle and a quadruple bogey. He was in first place after 14 holes thanks to six birdies, but he couldn’t get another one the rest of the way.

On 25-under 263, Villegas tied him for second place. He made two of his six birdies at 17 and 18 to get his share of the lead.

The American Justin Suh came in fourth with a score of 264 and a score of seven under par 65.

Columbia’s Villegas is still looking for his fifth PGA title, even though he won his fourth one nine years ago.

Kuchar had hoped that a trip to Mexico would help him win again after a slump. A month before, at the 2019 Sony Open, he won his ninth PGA title, ending a nearly four-year title streak at the same event held at Mayakoba.

Instead, van Rooyen won the fifth event of the FedEx Cup Fall. The FedEx Cup Fall is a series of seven tournaments played after the TOUR Championship that decide who is eligible for the 2024 PGA Tour season.

With the win, van Rooyen goes up from 125th to 63rd in the FedEx Cup Fall results. He is now in a good position to keep his card for next year.

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