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Erik van Rooyen sent a message to his American tour colleagues ahead of this year’s Presidents Cup, joking he wants to “smash them into the dirt” at Quail Hollow.

One of a host of players vying for selection for this year’s event, the South African is desperate to be in captain Trevor Immelman’s plans.

And the 32-year-old is determined to get one over his American counterparts, should he get the opportunity.

“For me, that’s a team event that I can compete in, and I can’t wait,” van Rooyen told

“Obviously I’d love to make that squad. That would mean the absolute world to me, with especially with Trevor Immelman, a fellow South African, being the captain.”

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“I’m getting my chance to absolutely smash a couple of the Yanks into the dirt, to be honest,” he joked.

It might not captivate European audiences in the same way as the Ryder Cup, but van Rooyen insisted it is every bit as important to players from other parts of the world.

“In Europe you’ve got the Ryder Cup and in the golf world, that’s probably quite a bit bigger than the Presidents Cup.

“I think part of the reason for that is because it’s a competitive tournament. The internationals have been absolutely smashed over the last bunch of years, and I think once that changes, it’ll probably grow in popularity.”

The Americans have dominated proceedings over the years, with just one international victory.

That came at Royal Melbourne in 1998 – but van Rooyen insisted the tide is turning.

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“If you look at the international guys, you’ve got, let’s say Louis [Oosthuizen],” he said.

“Obviously Lou will find form over the majors. We just know that.

“Him, Adam Scott, a couple of other veterans. Si Woo Kim, myself, Abraham Ancer, Lucas Herbert, Cam Smith, Joaquin Niemann – all guys that have been playing fantastic golf, absolutely smashing it and all of a sudden you look at the names you have and it’s like ‘Oh wow, that’s actually a really strong team’.

“I think the Americans probably underestimate us every single time, and I think being in America this year, they’ll probably do the same thing, and I think that’ll be to our advantage.”

This year’s Presidents Cup will take place from September 18-25 at Quail Hollow.

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Read a full-length interview with Erik van Rooyen in issue 193 of bunkered (May 2022). Click here for our latest subscription offer. International subscriptions also available.

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