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Erik van Rooyen wins 2021 Barracuda Championship at Old Greenwood

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Erik Van Rooyen wins 2021 Barracuda Championship at Old Greenwood. (Kirsten Moran/NSN)

The Barracuda Championship will continue with the PGA TOUR’s current longest active streak of first-time winners with Erik van Rooyen of South Africa taking home his first PGA TOUR win. van Rooyen is the first player to win in his Barracuda Championship debut since Collin Morikawa took home the trophy in 2019. He finished with +50 (+7/+17/+10/+16), a new record for the Modified Stableford format event (Geoff Ogilvy finished the 2014 Barracuda Championship with +49).

"It's massive," van Rooyen said after the victory. "I haven't been playing great for about 18 months now and for various reasons, but it means so much, I'm so happy. Winning is everything. We practice the hours that we practice, and travel all around the world to go win a trophy, and this is a fantastic feeling."

Past champion Andrew Putnam led the day and started strong with a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie but it wasn’t enough to beat van Rooyen’s birdie on 18. Putnam ended +45 (+10/+15/+9/+11). van Rooyen finished with +50 (+7/+17/+10/+16), a new record for the Modified Stableford format event, as Geoff Ogilvy finished the 2014 Barracuda Championship with +49.

"In the beginning I was just really focused, like I was the whole week, you know, shot by shot and hitting the ball in the right areas and putting and I did that," van Rooyen said. "I think it was, was it 14 or 15 I saw that I was sort of tied with the lead, and then I knew if I make birdie on 16, I would be leading so you know, the nerves set in but that's great, we want that kind of thing. I usually play really well under those conditions, so I did that again today. So I'm really proud."

The Barracuda Championship marked van Rooyen's first trip to the Reno-Tahoe area, and safe to say the views didn't disappoint the South African native.

"It's beautiful, van Rooyen said. "It's pity we had so much smoke the last couple days, but it's really stunning. I love these big tall pine trees and the way this course is designed, kind of merging in between the pines. It's really lovely atmosphere. And like I mentioned earlier, we stayed in Incline village this week and to look at Lake Tahoe is really spectacular, so I really enjoyed it.

2011 Barracuda Champion winner Scott Piercy rounds out the top three with +44 points on the week in his fifth tournament start and first since winning the event in 2011.


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