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South Africa's Erik van Rooyen drains two eagles to lead PGA Tour's Mexico Open

Erik van Rooyen will take a one-stroke lead into the second round of the US PGA Tour's Mexico Open after making two eagles in an eight-under-par 63 on Thursday.

The South African, who also added five birdies and a solitary bogey on the day, needed to sink a seven-footer for his first eagle after a superb approach at the par-five sixth, while his second eagle at the 12th came courtesy of a stunning chip-in from 70 feet.

"Twelve's a funky one because we played it into the wind in the practice round and you obviously can't get there for two. So today was downwind, smash three-wood and just a beautiful little pitch," he said.

"It's something I've been working really hard on and to see that go in, it feels good."

Van Rooyen also birdied the par-five 18th to finish one stroke in front of Finland's Sami Valimaki.

Another South African, MJ Dafue, was tied for third on 65 alongside Sweden's Henrik Norlander, American David Lipsky and Chile's Cristobal Del Solar.

Van Rooyen is chasing a second PGA Tour title in Mexico after also winning the World Wide Technology Championship at Los Cabos last November for a second PGA Tour victory.

Having just turned 34, Van Rooyen believes he is starting to play some of his "best golf".

"Had a few injuries the last few years and I'm finally healthy and good golf's starting to show up," he said. "So I like to think the best golf is still ahead of me."

Valimaki also had an eagle at the seventh to thank for his 64, though his six birdies also helped.

Del Solar recently made headlines when he shot a 57 on the developmental Korn Ferry Tour event in Bogota, the lowest round ever at a US PGA Tour-sanctioned event.

He is not yet a full PGA Tour member but with the kind of golf he's producing that shouldn't be the case for much longer.

"Obviously I want to be playing the PGA Tour, but last year was my first year on the Korn Ferry and I think I learned a lot," said Del Solar, who is playing thanks to a sponsor's invitation this week.

"The competition on the Korn Ferry, I mean, it's the same as the PGA Tour, the guys are so good. Obviously you've got the top in the world playing the PGA Tour, so that's where I would like to be and compete against them."

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