Mini-tour pro Jon Trasamar, inspiration behind recent Erik van Rooyen win, dies of cancer

Jon Trasamar hits tee shot at the Mackenzie Investments Open held at Club de Golf Les Quatre Domaines

Jon Trasamar pictured in 2017.

Getty Images

Jon Trasamar, the pro golfer who Erik van Rooyen dedicated his victory to at the World Wide Technology Championship earlier this month, died of cancer on Saturday. Trasamar was 33.

The news was shared Wednesday by Trasamar’s wife, Allie, on a Go Fund Me page, and also by Ryan French of Monday Q Info.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I share the news of Jon’s passing,” Allie wrote. “Over the past few weeks, Jon was surrounded by an outpouring of love as friends and family reached out to him and traveled from all over the country to be with him. The joy he found in those moments with his loved ones are memories I will forever hold close to my heart.”

Trasamar, who is from Blue Earth, Minn., played college golf at the University of Minnesota, where he befriended van Rooyen, who was playing in the U.S. after growing up in a small town in South Africa.

While van Rooyen found his way onto the PGA Tour (he’s a two-time winner), Trasamar played on the mini-tours, Latinoamerica Tour and Canada Tour. But Trasamar was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma about a year ago, and since then he had regular scans, played sparingly and caddied. In February, he learned the cancer had spread to his liver, back, spine and legs.

Trasamar was treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and at the World Wide Technology Championship two weeks ago in Mexico, van Rooyen revealed he received a text from his friend that said he had just six to 10 weeks to live.

“I hope he’s watching. We’ve texted. I’ve just told him how much I love him and how much I miss him,” van Rooyen said after his win. “All I want is to go play nine holes with him somewhere. And extremely selfishly, that puts all of this into perspective. Is it fun to win golf tournaments? Yeah, it’s fun. I’ve been playing golf since I was 8 years old, extremely competitive and we want to win. But it doesn’t matter. When I kick the bucket one day, whenever that might be, this is not what I’m going to be thinking about. I’m going to be thinking about the people that I love the most, and Jon Trasamar is one of those people.”

After his win, van Rooyen flew to Minnesota to see his friend.

Allie’s post said Trasamar passed away surrounded by family.

“Whenever you encounter a sequence of ones, be it the time or another numerical pattern, I encourage you to think of Jon,” Allie wrote. “A life well-lived and full of love.”

To learn more about Trasamar or to donate to his Go Fund Me page, click here.

Josh Berhow Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at