Arriving to the first round in a pink, cow skull-clad shirt, joggers, and running shoes, PGA Tour Caddie Alex Gaugert didn’t come to the 3M Open this week for his usual job.
Instead of staying on the bag for his boss Erik van Rooyen, Gaugert would be competing against him. Quite literally right next to him in Thursday’s opening round; the two were paired together.
Gaugert has already had an action-packed week to get to the penultimate Tour event of the season. After finishing caddie duties for van Rooyen at the Barracuda Championship on Sunday, he hopped on a red-eye flight to make it to the 3M Monday qualifier in time. No PTO days left- been there.
"“My brother was in the final group caddying for Patrick Rodgers. I went out to watch them for the last 9. I was going to actually skip my flight if they won and stay and party with them. But they ended up losing in a playoff. I drove like 100 miles-per-hour to Sacramento, caught my flight.” Gaugert explained the wild journey it took to get him to the qualifier.“Sacramento to Seattle. Flight got delayed, ended up taking off at 2:55 a.m.. Got here at like, 8:30 a.m.. Got my bags, went home for 20 minutes, got to the course at 10:30 a.m., teed off at 11 a.m.”."
Alex Gaugert would then go on to shoot a 65.
He qualified for his first PGA Tour start after a whirlwind 24 hours.
And while he has little to no expectations of himself and claimed “I don’t play, I’m just here to have fun,” it was his boss and former University of Minnesota teammate van Rooyen who enthusiastically shared his belief that Gaugert will make the cut.
“I’ve beaten him once or twice in the last 12 months,” the South African golfer said of his caddie.
Besting your boss and receiving their praise in the process- a dream few of us could ever see to fruition.
The two former Gophers were also paired with PGA Tour veteran Ryan Moore for Thursday’s first round. Gaugert’s brother, Austin, was originally in town to caddie for Moore but switched to his brother’s bag. Glad to see the PGA Tour has a sense of humor in grouping Moore, Gaugert, and van Rooyen together.
Play was suspended on Thursday while the group was on the 17th hole. Through 16, van Rooyen was 2-under par, but Gaugert did not come out firing as strong as he did on Monday as he currently sits at 6-over par.
The group will finish their round at 6:35 a.m. ET on Friday.