2023 World Wide Technology Championship Recap

2023 World Wide Technology Championship Recap

Erik van Rooyen’s Eagle Putt on 18 Wins the 2023 World Wide Technology Championship

As expected, golfers were able to post low scores on Tiger Woods’ El Cardonal course in Los Cabos, Mexico, but what Erik van Rooyen did over the final nine holes on Sunday was impressive nonetheless.

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2023 World Wide Technology Championship

The South African’s eagle putt on 18 closed out an 8-under 28 on the back nine and a 27-under 261 for the tournament. The eagle broke a tie with Matt Kuchar on the 72nd hole, giving van Rooyen the second win of his PGA Tour career.

“Things just turned on the back nine,” van Rooyen said. “Great birdie on 10, almost holed it on 11, beautiful 13-, 14-footer on 12, left-right breaker in the heart and you’re off and running. Just hung in there and made some awesome putts on 16, 17 and 18.”

Van Rooyen’s other win came in the 2021 Barracuda Championship, which didn’t give him full winner’s privileges because it was played opposite The Open Championship that year. This time around, van Rooyen gets all the perks—500 FedEx Cup points, entry into all of next year’s Signature Events, and, of course, a berth in the Masters.

Kuchar, who won this event at Mayakoba in 2018 and last won in January 2019, had a six-stroke lead at one point on Saturday, but an errant drive on hole No. 15 led to a quadruple-bogey 8, letting the field back into the tournament. The veteran still had a chance to win, but he left the door open for van Rooyen with pars in his final four holes. 

“I think I played 71 really good holes,” Kuchar said. “It kind of turns out to be the difference, you need to play 72 good holes out here. I had one jump up and get me.”

The good news for Kuchar is that he is squarely in “The Next 10,” which will give him a spot in the first two Signature Events of 2024. 

Finishing tied with Kuchar was -25 was Camilo Villegas, who recorded a top-10 finish for the first time all year. Justin Suh was in fourth, and he’s also working his way toward qualifying in The Next 10. 

Andrew Putnam and Ryan Palmer were tied for fifth, while Mackenzie Hughes and Chesson Hadley tied for seventh at -21. Carson Young was in ninth.

Ludvig Aberg, who was the odds-on-favorite before the tournament began, had a solid first two rounds but an even-par 72 on Saturday took away his shot at a win. Even so, the Swede came back for an impressive 64 on Sunday to wind up tied for 10th with Akshay Bhatia, Austin Cook, Nate Lashley, and Sam Ryder. 

Adam Long finished 23rd, but he did something that hadn’t been accomplished in 31 years on the PGA Tour: He finished with 100% driving accuracy after going 56-for-56 in hitting fairways off the tee.

Up Next

The PGA Tour visits Bermuda for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal for the fifth year in a row. Lucas Glover and Adam Scott are among the bigger names in the field.

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