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Van Rooyen victorious on his Hero Challenge bow
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Van Rooyen victorious on his Hero Challenge bow

Debutant Erik van Rooyen won the final Hero Challenge of the year after scoring with every ball under the lights at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.

Erik van Rooyen

Debutant Erik van Rooyen won the final Hero Challenge of the year after scoring with every ball under the lights at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.

The South African top-scored in his group before edging past Patrick Reed in a close-fought semi-final and overpowering Danny Willett in the final thanks to an early bullseye.

The innovative shootout event was taking place ahead of this week's European Tour season finale, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai and saw Scandinavian Invitation winner Van Rooyen vie for the trophy alongside Shane Lowry, Henrik Stenson, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Willett and Reed.

Vernon Kay played host, introducing the stars to the sound of huge cheers from the assembled crowd.

Willett and Reed progressed from Group One after posting scores of 130 and 110 respectively, while Open Champion Lowry narrowly missed out as his final ball landed inches away from the bulls on the floating target.

Van Rooyen's 135 saw him cruise into the semi-finals alongside Cabrera Bello, who made 110. Stenson, meanwhile, managed 90 points.

The semis saw Willett and Cabrera Bello go head-to-head, while standing in Van Rooyen's way was Reed.

Cabrera Bello looked set to record a commanding semi-final victory after posting scores of 25 and 50 with his first two balls.

He continued to lead until the very last shot, when Willett got the 25 points he needed to pip him to a place in the final.

Van Rooyen maintained his perfect record by making every ball count as he came out on top against Reed to book his spot in the final.

After making a fast start in the six-ball final, Van Rooyen continued to apply pressure throughout before going on to win 140-105 to claim his maiden Hero Challenge crown.

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