Erik van Rooyen weathers the desert storm to sit pretty in Abu Dhabi

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen. Picture: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images via AFP

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen. Picture: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images via AFP

Published Jan 21, 2022


Johannesburg - Erik van Rooyen filed an impressive one-under 71 in difficult conditions to move up eight spots to a share of ninth place in the second round, of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, at Yas Links, on Friday.

Van Rooyen’s four-under total, following a first round 69, leaves him just three off the pace of Scotland’s Scott Jamieson. In comparison, Jamieson found the going tougher with his second round two-over 74 to drop to seven-under at the halfway stage.

Van Rooyen, 31, began his round with birdie at the par four first but followed with two bogeys in a row. A birdie at the par three eighth helped Van Rooyen turn in level par, before a final birdie of his round at the par five 11th.

Seven more pars in the high winds helped Van Rooyen maintain his score and move up the leaderboard to leave him well-placed heading into the weekend.

The second round was called off early due to bad weather, meaning a host of golfers were yet to complete their work on day two.

The next best of the South Africans was Justin Harding on two-under overall in 16th position. Harding was one-over for his second round, with three holes left when play was called. Harding shot a first round three-under 69.

Charl Schwartzel, meanwhile, was the best of the SA players in the first round with his five-under 67 but battled to five-over after 14 holes on day two. The 2011 Masters champion had dropped to level par overall and fell 21 spots to 30th position.

In contrast, Justin Walters rocketed up 63 places to 38th spot with his one-under effort after 11 holes to move to one-over overall. After a first round two-over 74, Walters found himself well down the field in 101st position.

The trio of Brandon Stone (74 72), Dean Burmester (71 75) and Daniel van Tonder (71 75) all completed their second rounds on a two-over par total in a tie for 50th.

George Coetzee should be around for the weekend as his rounds of 72 76 left him on four-over overall, right on the projected cut mark.

Garrick Higgo will be hoping the cut mark moves to five-over, after finishing on that score with his rounds of 73 and 76 in a tie for 85th. Richard Sterne is also five-over, but still has six holes to play in his second round.

Darren Fichartdt’s rounds of 74 and 76 saw him finish on six-over for 96th place, which should see him miss out on weekend play.

Oliver Bekker fell to nine-over with rounds of 75 and 78, and in 117th place and last of the 12 SA players in the field he will be hoping to put this week behind him.