Erik van Rooyen credits his European Challenge Tour career for his success on the world stage, having collected his 2018 Graduate of the Year Award at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
The recent Scandinavian Invitation champion is the third South African after Justin Walters and Dylan Frittelli to be crowned Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year, following a storming debut season on the European Tour.
The 2017 Hainan Open winner continued his form into the new season with a runner-up finish in his second appearance of the 2018 season, and went on to claim a further four top tens, including a share of fourth at the second Rolex Series event of the campaign, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.
“I had a wonderful year last year, and I think it all comes down to the momentum I had from 2017,” he said. “It was a wonderful year for me. I learned a lot on the Challenge Tour and to obviously carry that form over on to the European Tour is very satisfying.
“I was very pleased with my results last year. Obviously first year playing the European Tour I was in contention a few times and didn't quite get it done. It was a really big learning experience, but at the same time, validation that I knew how to compete with the best in the world, so it was a good year all around.”