May 17, 2012
University of Minnesota junior Erik Van Rooyen opened the 2012 NCAA Ann Arbor Regional with a three-over par 74 May 17 at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor. Van Rooyen, the lone Gopher player to qualify for the regional, sits alone in 41st place heading into the second round.
The young South African began his day with a pair of pars, including an opening five on the 530-yard first hole. He fell to two-over after four following back-to-back bogies on holes three and four but recovered to play the final five holes at one-under to make the turn with a one-over 37.
The back nine included four bogies and a pair of birdies for Van Rooyen, who is playing in his second-consecutive NCAA Regional. He finished in a tie for 51st place at the 2011 NCAA San Diego Regional.
“Erik fought hard all day today and is really playing better than his card shows," said head coach John Carlson. "This weekend the course has rough that measures out between four and six inches and he found that rough off the tee several times on the back nine. It is tough to recover from that. He also three putted a couple of holes but overall I think he is hitting the ball great. Erik has the ability to go out tomorrow and shoot 65 so he has to have that mindset.”
Van Rooyen sits in fifth amongst the individuals playing in the event. Xavier's Sebastian MacLean tops that list following an opening round 68. He is in fourth place overall.
The top five teams and one individual from each regional not on one of the advancing teams will head to the NCAA Championships at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
TCU leads the team portion of the event after posting a combined score of 278 (-6). The Horned Frogs are eight strokes in front of Kent State and nine over Kennesaw State and Virginia.
Second round play is scheduled to get underway Friday morning at approximately 7:20 a.m. from Ann Arbor. The entire regional can be followed live on www.golfstat.com.
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