A top-50 ranking before the end of the calendar year, will earn Van Rooyen an automatic invite to the first Major of 2020. Photo by David Cannon

JOHANNESBURG  – South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen is on the verge of qualifying for the Masters at Augusta in April, as he moved to a career high of 51st in the world golf rankings on Monday.

If he moves into the top-50 before the end of the calendar year, he will earn an automatic invite to the year’s first Major in 2020.

The 29-year-old finished second at the Turkish Airlines Open on Sunday, losing out in a six-man play-off. Though England’s Tyrell Hatton was crowned champion, Van Rooyen still walked away with an incredible R6.4m paycheque. 

Van Rooyen has risen steadily up the rankings, starting out the year 141st in the world. His consistent play has also seen him break through for his maiden European Tour victory this season - triumphing at the Scandinavian Invitation in August.

Louis Oosthuizen remains SA’s top-ranked played at 23rd in the world, with Van Rooyen the next best local player.

Justin Harding is 66th, Shaun Norris is 90th and Christiaan Bezuidenhout is 100th. 

African News Agency (ANA)