Van Rooyen poised for first European Tour triumph

The talented Erik van Rooyen is in control at the Irish Open after carding a masterful 66 on moving day, should he win at Ballyliffin Golf Club it would be his maiden victory on the European Tour.

Van Rooyen put on a flawless display at Ballyliffin Golf Club to open up a four-shot lead heading into the final round.

He made six birdies in a front nine of 29 to surge ahead of the rest of the field.

Nine pars on the way home meant he finished the day at 14-under-par, four shots clear of New Zealander Ryan Fox and Swede Joakim Lagergren.

Van Rooyen has three top tens since graduating from the Challenge Tour last season but is yet to win on the European Tour. To do it at an event where the likes of Rory McIlroy, Chris Wood, Thomas Bjorn, Jon Rahm, and Lee Westwood were all in the field would make the occasion even more special.

The South African will have his work cutout for him though.

Masters champion Danny Willett lurks five shots off the pace.

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