CAPE TOWN – Brandon Stone was the in-form South African golfer going into the Open Championship at Carnoustie, but it was Erik van Rooyen who took the clubhouse lead on Thursday.
In a great first day for South Africa at the 147th edition in Scotland, Van Rooyen shot a four-under-par 67 on the links course to take an early advantage.
The 28-year-old made a birdie-birdie start, and went out on three-under 33 on the front nine.
Van Rooyen – who hails from Bellville in the Cape, but attended University of Minnesota in the US – gained further shots on the 11th and 15th holes.
He looked on course for a five-under finish, but dropped a shot at the last to come home with a 67 on the par-71 course.