Can this PGA Tour caddie outplay his boss? We’re about to find out

erik van rooyen stands with his caddie

Erik van Rooyen's caddie successfully qualified for the 3M Open — and they'll be playing together come Thursday.

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Erik van Rooyen and Alex Gaugert spend most weeks walking the fairways of the PGA Tour together. As a player-caddie duo, they’re stuck by each other’s side more often than not.

At the 3M Open, they’ll once again be walking the fairways together — but this week, there’s a twist. Instead of Gaugert schlepping van Rooyen’s clubs around TPC Twin Cities, he’ll be playing alongside his boss.

While Gaugert’s day job is caddying, he’s a pretty nifty player himself, and at this week’s 3M Open Monday qualifier, he earned a spot in the event via a playoff after posting a six-under 65. That means Gaugert will make his first Tour start Thursday — and leaves van Rooyen looking for a fill-in looper for the week.

Van Rooyen didn’t waste any time taking to social media to help find a replacement bagman for the week.

“So my caddie [Alex Gaugert] just qualified for the 3M Open!” he tweeted. “What a STUD!!! Soooooo anyone want to loop this week?”

Teeing it up in a Tour event for the first time is sure to be a thrill for Gaugert, but this story gets even better. As an added bonus, Gaugert will be grouped with his boss during the first two rounds. Teeing off at 2 p.m. Thursday, the caddie and his boss will be competing against one another.

“The gift that keeps on giving,” van Rooyen tweeted.

It might seem unlikely that the looper could best his player on the course, but Gaugert is no slouch. He played four years at the University of Minnesota (alongside van Rooyen) and carried a 73.97 scoring average his senior season. In addition to suiting up for the Gophers, Gaugert won the 2014 Wisconsin State Amateur.

It’s not often we get to see a caddie compete with his boss, but this week we’ll get just that.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at

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