May 19, 2012
University of Minnesota junior Erik Van Rooyen saved his best for last. Van Rooyen finished his third season as a Gopher with a three-under par 68 in the final round of the 2012 NCAA Ann Arbor Regional. His third round catapulted him up the leaderboard 11 spots, finishing in a tie for 19th place with a 54-hole total of even-par 213 (74-71-68).
Van Rooyen's final round 68 was the second-lowest round for the South African this season behind the 67 he carded in the final round of the Auto Trader Classic in October. He finishes his junior season with a 72.45 stroke average, the lowest on the team and also ties Adam Dooley (1998-99) for the ninth-lowest single season average in program history.
He will enter his final collegiate campaign with a career stroke average of 73.68, also the ninth lowest in the history of Gopher golf.
Van Rooyen, knowing he had to go low to make a move on the leaderboard, started his day on the back-nine and used two birdies and seven pars to make the turn at two-under for the day. He came within three holes of finishing a bogey-free round but gave a shot back on his 16th hole of the day, the par-four seventh. In all, Van Rooyen carded four birdies, 13 pars and that lone bogey for his three-under day.
Southern California (-11), Oregon (-10), Kent State (-8), Virginia (-6) and TCU (-3) finished one through five and will move on to the NCAA Championships at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
Individuals Albin Choi of North Carolina State and Sebastian MacLean of Xavier will also head to L.A. to compete in the championships. Choi finished as the medalist with a 54-hole score of 10-under 203 while MacLean finished in a tie for second at seven-under 206.