Van Rooyen holds off Fitzpatrick in Gothenberg to clinch first European Tour title

Erik van Rooyen described himself as “over the moon” after a birdie at the last saw him overcome Matt Fitzpatrick by one stroke to win a first European Tour title at the Scandinavian Invitation.

The South African, a three-time runner-up on Tour, led by one from Fitzpatrick heading into the final day at the Hills Golf & Sports Club in Gothenburg.

Van Rooyen was caught by Fitzpatrick and Henrik Stenson but opened up a three-stroke lead on the back nine.

Fitzpatrick set up a grandstand finale with a birdie-birdie finish and a Van Rooyen bogey at 17 meant the two were tied.

But Van Rooyen got the job done with a 15-foot putt for birdie at the last as he matched Fitzpatrick’s six-under 64 to win at 19 under par.

“It’s too good, it’s hard to describe,” he said in quotes reported by the European Tour’s website. 

“I was so nervous on 18. On 17 I was fine, I just didn’t hit that putt hard enough and then I asked [my caddie] Alex, ‘what are we at?’ and he told me that Matt went birdie-birdie.

“I’ve been putting so well all day and to hole that one to win my first one is pretty cool.

“I’ve gone close a bunch of times and every time I’m in contention the question gets asked. I’m just so proud of myself and Alex and everybody, I’m over the moon.”

Local favourite Stenson brought huge cheers from the crowds with a hole-in-one at the par-three sixth, but he finished four off the pace in a tie for third with Dean Burmester.