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erik van rooyen caddie

Can this PGA Tour caddie beat his boss at the 3M Open?

Alex Gaugert is putting the bag down for one week and one week only at the 3M Open as he prepares to tee it up against his boss Erik van Rooyen on the PGA Tour

 

PGA Tour caddie Alex Gaugert will have the chance to outdo his boss this week.

Erik van Rooyen’s carrier has won a spot in the field via Monday qualifying and has amazingly been drawn to play with his employer in the first two rounds of the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities.

Gaugert survived a 4-for-3 playoff at Victory Links Golf Club in his first-ever Monday qualifier and will now make his tour debut.

His journey to the event wasn’t plain sailing, though. Having stuck around to watch the Barracuda playoff last weekend, his flight in Seattle was delayed until 3 am.

He didn’t arrive in Minneapolis until 8.30 am – less than three hours before his tee time in the qualifier. It’s no surprise Gaugert didn’t carry high hopes with just a few hours of sleep on the airport floor in the bank.

Erik van Rooyen caddie looking to outdo his boss at the 3M Open

ALSO: Justin Thomas not ‘sitting on the couch’ with Tour Championship on the line

“It’s pretty surreal,” Gaugert told PGA Tour.com. “I think expectations are a massive thing and I went in with zero expectations and played well.”

Van Rooyen and Gaugert were teammates at the University of Minnesota for three years and Gaugert lives just a 30-minute drive from this week’s venue.

The pair won the 2021 Barracuda Championship together, but van Rooyen went through a string of seven consecutive missed cuts earlier this season.

erik van rooyen caddie

Asked whether his caddie will make the cut at the 3M, the South African replied “Oh, absolutely.”

“That’s really what we dreamed of. A lot of our guys (at Minnesota), we wanted to play the PGA Tour, we talked about traveling together, playing a practice round together and now that dream is becoming a reality which is really cool,” he said.

Van Rooyen has called on his former college teammate Robert Bell for looping duties in Blaine, while Gaugert’s brother Austin will caddie for him.

Austin was originally down to caddie for Ryan Moore, the third man of their trio in the first two rounds, but the former Ryder Cup player has his agent on the bag instead.

NOW READ: Brian Harman: ‘Brutal’ UK fans didn’t want me to win The Open

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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