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Pair of Former Gophers in 3M Open Field at TPC Twin Cities

Traditionally a golfer/caddy pair, the two Gophers will both play this weekend

Valspar Championship - Round Three Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The 3M Open will take place at TPC Twin Cities this weekend in Blaine and will feature a pair of former Minnesota Gophers men’s golfers. Erik Van Rooyen has played in 85 PGA events including several 3M Opens. He has one PGA win, the Barracuda Championship in 2021 that has given him full PGA Tour status and currently ranks #123 in the Fed Ex Cup Standings. His former teammate, Alex Gaugert has been his caddy for the past four seasons. A good golfer himself he played with the Gophers for four seasons until graduating in 2014. But as a full time PGA tour caddy he doesn’t get a ton of time to play himself. So when he decided that he would try and qualify for the 3M Open in their Monday qualifier this week, he had no idea what he would be in for.

As Gaugert told the story to multiple reporters he was caddying for Van Rooyen at the Barracuda Championships in Sacramento this past weekend.

After their round was done, he stuck around and watched the golfer his brother caddies for try and win his first PGA Championship—and as he said had he won he would have skipped his flight to MSP and stayed to party with them. But his brother’s golfer would finish in second place so Gaugert headed to the airport. He made his original flight from Sacramento to Seattle by 25 minutes and then his Seattle to MSP flight was delayed and did not take off until nearly 3 AM. He arrived at MSP at 9 AM, went directly to his place, cleaned up, grabbed his clubs and headed to Victory Links Golf Club at 10:30 for an 11:10 tee time. He hit 15 balls and headed to the first tee. He would end up finishing eagle, birdie, par to get into a 4 for 3 playoff for the final three qualifying spots and would advance out of the playoff and earn a spot in this weekends field in the 3M Open.

To make things even better the PGA Tour paired Gaugert and Van Rooyen together with their good friend Ryan Moore for the first two rounds. The trio tees off at 2PM on Thursday and 8:35 Friday morning. Alex Gaugert’s brother will be on the bag for him after switching from originally planning on caddying for Moore. Another former Gopher teammate of Van Rooyen and Gaugert and now-assistant golf coach for the Gophers Robert Bell is stepping in to carry Van Rooyen’s bag.

The two former Gophers should be fan favorites this weekend in Blaine as they try to go out and try and make the guy and get to the weekend. At worst case they have one heck of a story they can share together.