BLAINE, Minn. — Erik van Rooyen’s eyes welted with tears as he stood next to his caddie in the interview area.
Alex Gaugert was holding his daughter in his left arm while trying to find words to describe what his past few days had been like. Gaugert’s family stood behind a handful of reporters watching as he detailed his week.
Gaugert, who Monday qualified into the 3M Open, is van Rooyen’s full-time caddie. This week, however, he played alongside his boss for the first two rounds at TPC Twin Cities.
“It was a dream,” Gaugert said. “It happened fast. Monday qualifiers, you know, never done one and to get through was pretty cool. Then the Tour allowed us to play together. That was really memorable and something we’ll never forget.
“I know after I qualified there was definitely a few tears shed and it was really, really cool. And all the support, all the caddies and even the players, it was nice to get that feeling where everybody’s kind of trying to — everyone’s lifting you up and telling you ‘good job.’ It was cool to kind of have the light shine on you for a week, so it’s fun.”
Added van Rooyen: “I was talking to a few people earlier in the week, when we were playing college together, this was what we were all talking about. Oh, man, we’re gonna play the PGA Tour together, we’re gonna room together, play practice rounds together. We get to share that a little bit with him on the bag, but with him playing a tournament, it was really, really cool.”
What a special week for Erik van Rooyen and his caddie, Alex Gaugert, who Monday qualified into the 3M Open. They played together the first two rounds pic.twitter.com/q7qy3jEU8y
— Cameron Jourdan (@Cam_Jourdan) July 28, 2023
The duo were teammates at Minnesota from 2010-13. Gaugert became van Rooyen’s full-time caddie in 2019.
Gaugert finished at 6 over for the week, following an opening 6-over 77 with an even-par performance on Friday. Meanwhile, van Rooyen shot 3-under 68 on Friday and sits at 3 under for the week, right on the projected cut line as the afternoon wave gets underway.
On their final hole Friday, the duo embraced, celebrating an incredible week.
“You don’t get these special moments every single week,” Gaugert said. “This game’s hard and it was — it’s cool to share that with my best friend, something I’ll never forget.”
The moment was also special for van Rooyen, as it makes him appreciate playing on the PGA Tour even more. As far as Gaugert’s job security down the road?
“Oh, yeah, his job’s safe,” van Rooyen said. “Trust me, we’ve been through some highs and we’ve been through some lows together. Nothing can shake us, so we’re all good.”