Van Rooyen eagles final hole for emotional WWT win

Van Rooyen eagles final hole for emotional WWT win
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LOS CABOS, Mexico — Erik van Rooyen made a 16-foot eagle putt on the par-5 closing hole Sunday to win the World Wide Technology Championship, a day after Matt Kuchar squandered a six-stroke lead with a late meltdown.

Playing alongside Kuchar at Tiger Woods-designed El Cardonal at Diamante on the tip of Baja California, van Rooyen played the back nine in 8-under 28 in a 9-under 63. He finished at 27-under 261, two strokes ahead of Kuchar and Camilo Villegas.

Van Rooyen won for the second time on the PGA Tour. The 33-year-old South African’s first victory came in the 2021 Barracuda Championship under the modified Stableford scoring system.

Kuchar and Villegas each shot 66, with the 45-year-old Kuchar parring the final four holes. Tied for the lead on 18, Kuchar — after van Rooyen and Villegas hit fairway-wood second shots near each other on the green — hit his approach left of the green and chipped 15 feet past the hole.

On Saturday, Kuchar was six strokes ahead at 24 under when he pulled his drive on 15 left into dense bushes and made a quadruple-bogey 8. He then bogeyed the par-3 16th, and ended up tied for the lead with Villegas.

Van Rooyen opened play Sunday with a bogey on the par-5 first and made birdies on Nos. 2 and 6. In his back-nine charge, he birdied Nos. 10-12, 14, 16 and 17.

Justin Suh was fourth at 24 under after a 65. Andrew Putnam (62) and Ryan Palmer (64) were 22 under.

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