CALIFORNIA – When Cape Town golfer Erik van Rooyen tees off on the first at Pebble Beach, California, tomorrow he will lead eight South African professionals into action at the US Open.
He will be joined by Dean Burmester, another of four South Africans who played their way into the field in Sectional Qualifying. Like Burmester, Justin Walters and Merrick Bremner hit the jackpot in England, while Van Rooyen got in via a Sectional Qualifying events in the US.
The highest-ranked South African in the field is Louis Oosthuizen (22nd), while Justin Harding is 47th.
Branden Grace, 54th in the world, had close shaves in the event - notably in 2015 when a single wayward tee shot probably cost him victory.
Ernie Els, the 1994 and 1997 US Open champion, scored an invitation to Pebble Beach this year and he is joined in the field by his nephew, South African amateur star Jovan Rebula.
African news Agency (ANA)