Winner: Eric van Rooyen
South Africa’s Eric van Rooyen collected his maiden victory on the European Tour with a birdie at the final hole at the Scandinavian Invitation. The 29-year-old had won once on the Sunshine Tour and once on the Challenge Tour but had finished second three times in the last two seasons on the main European circuit. That changed when he held off Matthew Fitzpatrick to win by one stroke after both players scored 64s on the final day at Hills Golf and Sports Club in Gothenburg.
After opening scores of 65 and 68, van Rooyen posted twin scores of 64 over the weekend for a 19-under-par total of 261. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson made a hole-in-one at the sixth hole to share the lead amid wild cheering but later faded from the contest to finish in a tie for third place with Dean Burmester, the pair four adrift of Fitzpatrick n Rooyen’s only dropped shot of the day came at the 17th, and with Fitzpatrick birdieing the last two holes, the South African needed a birdie himself at the last. It arrived with a 15-footer for victory.
“I’ve been putting so well all day and to hole that one to win my first one is pretty cool,” he said. “I’ve gone close a bunch of times and every time I’m in contention the question gets asked. I was so nervous on 18. On 17 I was fine, I just didn’t hit that putt hard enough and then I asked my caddie Alex, ‘what are we at?’ and he told me that Matt went birdie-birdie. It’s hard to describe how I feel, it’s too good.”