• Van Rooyen maintains his Open place

    Erik Van Rooyen
    Van Rooyen battled hard

    Erik van Rooyen fired a second round 71 to remain on the first page of The Open leaderboard at Carnoustie, writes WADE PRETORIUS.

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    The European Tour rookie, who won twice last year ― once in South Africa and the other on the Challenge Tour ― dug deep on Friday as scoring proved to be more difficult despite the rain that featured for large portions of the day.

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    A bogey at the 2nd was quickly countered by a birdie at the next hole before a number of good rolls with the putter stayed out. A birdie at 7th saw Van Rooyen move back into a share of second place before dropping shots at both the 9th and 10th.

    The former University of Minnesota competitor showed his class with a birdie at 11th to get his day back to par before closing with a run of seven straight pars to leave his championship tally at -4; four behind Kevin Kisner and two off Zach Johnson’s tally.

    For Van Rooyen, Friday was a test of character after his failure to get over the line two weeks ago after holding the 54-hole lead at the Irish Open.

    Not only did he pass this test, Van Rooyen’s Major debut has proved that he is capable of holding his own even when others ― more decorated than himself ― failed as the weather and course proved a stern examination of his all-round game.

    The weekend offers a shot at a shade of redemption but whatever happens, he will take the positives of another step in the right direction during what is proving to be a breakthrough maiden campaign on one of golf’s elite tours.

    Countryman Dylan Frittelli will not be around this weekend after slumping to a birdie-less 79 on Friday.

    After two wins to his name last year on the European Tour much was expected this week from Frittelli. A 71 on Thursday was the perfect platform but the 28-year-old lost his rhythm during round two with four bogeys on either side of the turn to limp out of the picture.

    Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images

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