The part hybrid, part fairway wood that propelled Erik van Rooyen to victory at the World Wide Technology Championship
After Saturday's third round of the World Wide Technology Championship, Eric van Rooyen was asked about his thoughts heading into Sunday's final round. “Make more birdies,” he said. “You know, if it's as calm as it was this morning, someone's going to get to 25. So just keep making birdies.”
Matt Kuchar got to 25 under. So did Camilo Villegas. However, van Rooyen made six birdies over his first eight holes of his back nine at El Cardonal Diamante then knocked in an 18-fgoot eagle putt at the last after a magnificent second shot to the par-5 18th to win his second PGA Tour title and first since the 2021 Barracuda Championship.
The winning eagle was set up by a shot from 286 yards that was struck with a 17-degree Callaway Apex UW with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 8X shaft—a club that is essentially part fairway wood, part hybrid.
It was van Rooyen’s putting, however, that truly set him apart. The 33-year-old South African—seemingly out of it after Kuchar birdied the 14th to take a two-shot lead—dropped a trio of 20-plus-foot putts at Nos. 16, 17 and 18. The strong work on the greens was typical of van Rooyen’s week as he finished second in the field in putts per greens in regulation with his Odyssey Toulon San Diego putter.
He also ranked first in the field in eagles for the week, with three. Make more birdies? Sure. But when you can pick up two shots on one hole three times in a week, that works, too.
The clubs Erik van Rooyen used to win the 2023 World Wide Technology Championship
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (Mitsubishi Diamana 60 TX), 9 degrees
5-wood: Callaway Apex UW, 17 degrees
Irons (2): Callaway X-Forged UT; (4): Callaway Apex TCB; (5-PW): Callaway Apex MB 18
Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (50, 54, 58 degrees
Putter: Odyssey Toulon San Diego