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July 7, 2018

Erik Van Rooyen

Ballyliffin, Republic of Ireland

Q. When we spoke mid-round, you were 3-under after five and you went on to shoot 29 for the front nine and put you four ahead. What was your mind-set at that stage? You had the opportunity to separate yourself?
ERIK VAN ROOYEN: Right, I did. I don't know, the mind-set was just keep going, I guess. I wasn't very much aware of my score or the situation. You sometimes get in a groove as a golfer where things just happen and you hit great shots and great putts and that's what happened.

It wasn't different on the back nine. It's just different holes, different conditions, different everything. I still played great. Wish I could birdie the two par 5s but I didn't. Looking back, all in all, I think it was a good day.

Q. You moved up nearly 500 places in the World Ranking last year courtesy of a win in Africa, second place in Joburg. How valuable are those experiences tomorrow which could be a big day for you?
ERIK VAN ROOYEN: Very. Very much so. Challenge Tour was huge for me, learning how to play, getting in contention, getting four rounds under par. That's obviously going to be crucial tomorrow.

Q. How will you approach tomorrow tactically?
ERIK VAN ROOYEN: Similar. Similar to today. I have a solid game plan. Why change anything.

Q. How excited about the possibilities because it could be a career-changing day, really?
ERIK VAN ROOYEN: Very much so. Look, there's 18 holes left to navigate and that's going to be my job tomorrow. Obviously I would love to get a win. But you know, that's 24 hours from now.

Q. Something about the front nine seems to suit your eye, you've played it 11-under par the last few days?
ERIK VAN ROOYEN: It does. It's always nice getting off to a good start. I birdied 1 today and I birdied yesterday. I had the exact same number today so it was pretty simple knowing what to do.

From there, you just keep going.

Q. I'm sure you're pretty nervous inside but you seem to be calm on the golf course. Very important to make sure you keep that way.
ERIK VAN ROOYEN: Yeah, right. You know, it's obviously a professional sport and nerves, they do play a part but that's part of it. It's nothing strange. You shouldn't not want them. I feel like when you are a bit nervous, it just means that you're ready to go.

Q. Was there more patience required on the back nine?
ERIK VAN ROOYEN: Yeah, I didn't hit it as good off the tee. Obviously being in the fairway on this golf course is key to playing well. On a few occasions, I had to just sort of play middle green and take what I get but I managed that really well.

Q. You're the man to catch, four-shot lead at the top of the leaderboard. Final group tomorrow. We spoke yesterday about this being an exciting prospect but now it is becoming a reality. You're leading a very big tournament.
ERIK VAN ROOYEN: Right. I am. I've been in this position before, maybe not in a Rolex Series, but it's golf. Go hit the ball, hit on the green and make the putt.

We'll do that tomorrow.

Q. A word on the atmosphere? How enjoyable has this experience been over the first three days, great crowds?
ERIK VAN ROOYEN: They are amazing. Coming up the 18th green, everybody clapping. The support's been fantastic.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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