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Van Rooyen and Norris set for Open at Carnoustie in July.
hey might have failed to win the rain-affected Joburg Open, but South Africans Erik van Rooyen and Shaun Norris left Randpark GC extremely happy as their second and third-place finishes guaranteed the pair spots at next this year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie. Despite the dominant win by India’s Shubhankar Sharma, Van Rooyen was always looking like he might catch up with the 21-year old. He didn’t. Rather, three shots behind Sharma and three ahead of Norris, Van Rooyen settled for second on 20-under and a ticket to his first ever major championship. “I’m obviously extremely happy because you know, I’m playing my first Open this coming year, so I’m really stoked,” Van Rooyen said after his final round 66 for a total of 20-under-par 267. He will be looking forward to his debut in the oldest open, especially on the back of a solid season on the European Challenge Tour where he finished third on the Road to Oman and earned his European Tour playing privileges, and getting a solid start to his European Tour season.
January | February 2018
Norris, on the other hand, will be making his second consecutive appearance. Last season, he earned his spot via his exploits on the Japan Golf Tour where he finished seventh on their Order of Merit this season. Like any debutant on the biggest stages of world sports, Norris’ first appearance at The Open Championship was more of a learning moment. But, he made the cut and has good experiences of the tournament as he looks to take another shot at one of golf’s most respected venues. “For a South African golfer, it’s a dream to be playing in The Open Championship at Carnoustie next July. Last year I experienced The Open Championship with my family and I look forward to doing it again. “The Open Championship is steeped in history and tradition, you just have to look at the names on the Claret Jug to see what great golfers have won this championship. Carnoustie is a wonderful venue where Padraig Harrington won in 2008 and it will be a great test of golf come next July. I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” said Norris.
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