Erik Van Rooyen wins Barracuda Championship for First PGA Tour Title as Big Names Jockey for Position With One Event Remaining Before FedEx Cup Playoffs.
With most of golf’s biggest names taking part in the WGC-St. Jude’s Invitational in Memphis, there was a great opportunity for someone to break through, vault into FedEx Cup playoff position, and perhaps even win their first event on tour.
Erik van Rooyen, of South Africa, did just that at the Barracuda Championship on Sunday here at Tahoe Mountain Course in Truckee, California, with smoke from nearby wildfires swirling.
Van Rooyen scored 16 points on Sunday in the only PGA Tour event to use the Modified Stableford scoring system—five points for an eagle, two for a birdie, zero for par, -1 for a bogey, and -3 for a double-bogey or worse. He had 50 points for the tournament, defeating Andrew Putnam by a healthy five points to claim the tournament title and his first win on tour.
“Obviously, this was, in my mind, kind of the next step for what I wanted to achieve,” van Rooyen said. “I’ve got big dreams and aspirations, and winning on the PGA Tour was certainly part of that. I’m really, really happy.”
The win boosted van Rooyen from 139th to 78th in FedEx Cup standings—125 is the cut-off to reach the playoffs after next week’s Wyndham Championship. The South African also qualified for the PGA Championship in 2022 but not the Masters because this tournament was played opposite a WGC event.
Putnam also had a productive tournament with respect to the playoff standings, as his runner-up finish moved him from 104th to 75th in points.
This weekend’s event at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina is a big one, as 156 golfers are in the field with many big names looking to make their way into the potentially lucrative playoff.
Among the big names that currently reside outside of the top 125 is Rickie Fowler. He comes in ranked 130th and has four straight finishes outside of the top 30. The cut here gets trimmed to the top 65 with ties, so it’s essential for Fowler to reach the weekend to keep his playoff hopes alive.
Englishman and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose also needs a big round to qualify, as he sits in 139th in the standings.
Notables that sit on the positive side of the bubble but need a strong showing here to stay there include Jason Day (103), Zach Johnson (107), Gary Woodland (108), Adam Scott (121), and Matt Kuchar (124). Bo Hoag is in the final spot at 125, and Scott Piercy is the first player out of the field at 126th.
Collin Morikawa leads the standings going into the final week, and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational winner Abraham Ancer, who scored his first PGA Tour win on Sunday, is in sixth place.
The playoffs itself is a three-week event: The top 125 play at the Northern Trust with the top 70 moving on to the BMW Championship the following weekend. The top 30 from that event then play the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club starting on Sept. 2.
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