GOTHENBURG – South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen once again found himself in contention for a maiden European Tour victory as he birdied five of his last six holes to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Scandinavian Invitation in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Saturday.
The South African was the European Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year last season with five top-10s and he has already matched that total this term, with two second-place finishes.
He arrived at Hills Golf & Sports Club fresh off a top five at the Czech Masters and a third round 64 in Gothenburg moved him to 13-under, one clear of Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick, Australia's Wade Ormsby and China's Wu Ashun.
Overnight leader Fitzpatrick had looked in control for most of the day but dropped three shots in as many holes from the 14th before a closing eagle from off the green handed him a 69.
Ormsby had opened his week with a 62 but followed it with a 71 before registering a 65 on day three, while Wu was a picture of consistency in his 67.
South Africa's Dean Burmester matched the lowest round of the week with a 62 to get to 10-under alongside local hero Henrik Stenson, Welshman Jamie Donaldson, France's Alexander Levy and Irishman Gavin Moynihan.
Van Rooyen linked up Alex Gaugert earlier this season - hiring his former University of Minnesota team-mate as his caddie - and the 29-year-old has no problem giving his bagman plenty of credit.
"It was a little scrappy on the front so I didn't feel like it was going to be a 29," he said. "I was quite surprised and really happy.
"A caddie for me isn't just a guy that carries the bag and then goes and has a few beers after the round. For me, it's just as important as the rest of the stuff that I do.
"We've known each other for a very long time so he knows me really well. He knows when to kick me in the butt when I need it and tell me not to be a child on the golf course and he also knows when to say, 'dude, really well done'. We're a great team.”
African News Agency (ANA)