Van Rooyen blazes to 62, 1 shot off Northern Trust lead

Aug 22, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

He started his round with a bogey on Saturday, but Erik van Rooyen quickly put that behind him as he blazed his way to a nine-under-par 62 in the third round of the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust to put himself in a position to push for a victory.

He will have Sunday to think things over as the PGA Tour postponed play for the final round to Monday as the United States northeast coast braces itself for landfall by Hurricane Henri – and Liberty National is right in the firing line.

Van Rooyen responded to his poor start by regaining the stroke immediately with a birdie on two, and then he got his round into red figures with another gain on the fourth. He picked up three birdies in a row from the sixth to the eighth, and he turned in four-under. He made five birdies coming home – on 11, 12, 14, 16 and 17 – as he climbed 14 places on the leaderboard into third.

He is one shot off the lead which was shared by Cameron Smith of Australia, who carded a superb 11-under 60, and world number one John Rahm of Spain. One shot behind Van Rooyen are Justin Thomas and Tony Finau of the United States.

Behind him, Garrick Higgo signed for a one-under 70 in the third round as he slipped 15 places into a share of 40th on six-under. Dylan Frittelli carded a level-par 71 to be in a share of 71st. Both Higgo and Frittelli are projected to finish outside the top 70 in the FedEx Cup rankings after the Northern Trust, which will mean they will miss out on next week’s BMW Championship.

Van Rooyen, should he stay in third, is projected to climb to 25th, which means he has a very good shot at making it all the way to the Tour Championship in a fortnight, where just the top 30 players will be in action.

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