Debutant Van Rooyen is 10th different Hero Challenge winner

V Krishnaswamy Dubai | Updated on November 20, 2019 Published on November 20, 2019

Erik Van Rooyen gets his Hero Challenge Trrophy from Dr.Pawan Munjal Chair


Debutant Erik van Rooyen of South Africa became the 10th different winner of the Hero Challenge events as he emerged champion in the latest edition under the lights at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. In an event where the players aim at a customised target, this one in the water at the Beach, no one has won more than once.

Van Rooyen received his Trophy from Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman Hero MotoCorp.

Van Rooyen beat two Masters champions, Patrick Reed (2018) and Danny Willett (2016) in a row on way to the title. Earlier he came through his Group that included Rafa Cabrera Bello and 2016 Open winner, Henrik Stenson. Van Rooyen totalled 135 to Cabrera-Bello’s 110 and Stenson’s 90.

From Group One, Willett and Reed progressed into the semis scoring 130 and 110 respectively, while Open Champion Lowry missed out.

In the first semi-final Cabrera Bello looked set to record a commanding semi-final victory after posting 25 and 50 with his first two hits. He led till the very last shot, when Willett scored 25 points 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.

In the six-ball final, the Scandinavian Invitational winner Van Rooyen made a fast start that included a bull’s eye and kept up the pressure to beat the defending DP World Tour Champion Willett 140-105 to claim his maiden Hero Challenge crown.

Hero Challenge extended, expanded to five events in 2020



Dr Munjal later announced he was thrilled at the response of the Hero Challenge and was extending the series to another three years and also expanding it to five events.

The fast-paced shootout will feature 15 times between 2020-2022 at different iconic locations. The 2020 series will start with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will move to Europe for three more events, including the Betfred British Masters, to be hosted by Lee Westwood.

The Grand Finale will take place in Dubai and feature the winners of all four Hero Challenges from the particular season. They will compete at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

Munjal said, “Golf has rapidly gained prominence at the world stage, yet there is a constant need to push the envelope and bring innovation to attract younger audiences. With this focus, we introduced the Hero Challenge on the European Tour in 2016 and this distinct format has appealed to a new league of followers over the years. The overwhelming success has encouraged us to further strengthen our association with the European Tour and we are now hosting this event at five different venues annually until 2022.”

Published on November 20, 2019
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