Centurion - South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen cashed in at The Players Championship with a R6.4m paycheque for 13th at the TPC at Sawgrass on Monday.
The tournament was extended to a fifth day after heavy rains meant the four rounds could not be finished by Sunday. Australia’s Cameron Smith triumphed on 13-under and pocketed R54.4m, one ahead of India’s Anirban Lahiri who earned R32.95m. England’s Paul Casey was third on 10-under and signed for a cool payout of R20.86m.
Van Rooyen began the day on five-under and still had nine holes left to complete in his third round. The 32-year-old would go on to sign for a two-over 74 to drop back to four-under as he began round four.
A birdie three at the first, followed by another at the par five second meant Van Rooyen made the perfect start to his final round. However, a missed green at the par three third resulted in a momentum-killing bogey.
Another dropped shot came at the par four sixth to drop Van Rooyen back to even on his round. He responded with a birdie at the par four seventh, but again Van Rooyen gave a shot back - this time at the par four ninth to make the turn in level par.
Coming home was less of a rollercoaster in comparison for Van Rooyen with a birdie at the par five 11th and another at the par three 13th, and six other pars to complete his solid showing in the unofficial fifth major.
Louis Oosthuizen was the next best SA player in the field, in a tie for 42nd on two-under. The 39-year-old had completed 12 holes in his third round at the start of play on Monday, and signed for a third round three-under 69. That saw Oosthuizen end three rounds in a share of eighth on six-under overall and three off the lead.
What an unforgettable week. 🌅 pic.twitter.com/vRe2lraQ6M— THE PLAYERS (@THEPLAYERSChamp) March 15, 2022
Oosthuizen, who many would have expected to make a charge in the final round, began his push for the title in disastrous fashion.
Oosthuizen started round four with a bogey and double-bogey in his first two holes and dropped another shot at the fourth to sink to four-over after four. Though his next 14 holes were consistent as he played them in level par, Oosthuizen dropped 34 places in round four to end in a tie for 42nd. Oosthuizen’s four-over 76 to close, meant he finished on two-under for the week.
Dylan Frittelli ended the tournament on level par in a share of 50th, while Branden Grace was a shot behind on one-over.
Charl Schwartzel and Garrick Higgo both missed the cut.