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De Jonge makes PGA championship debut in US


United States-based Zimbabwean golfer Brendon de Jonge will make his first appearance in a major event this season when he takes part in the 94th PGA Championship which tees off at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina, today.

Commonly known simply as the majors — Major Championships — namely, The Masters, US Open Championship, Open Championship and the PGA Championship are the four most prestigious annual tournaments in professional golf.

The 2012 PGA Championship purse is $8 million.
The 32-year-old De Jonge missed out on the first three majors of the season, earned his place in the star-studded field on the back of some good performances this season.

De Jonge is currently ranked a credible 40th on the US PGA Tour’s official money standings having earned $1 138 694 in 20 events on tour this season.

Last month, the former St John’s College student came agonisingly close to winning his maiden PGA title after taking the 54-hole lead at the AT&T National before stumbling at the final hurdle.

De Jonge, who now stays in Charlotte, North Carolina, will tee off alongside American Danny Balin and Hiroyuki Fujita from Japan at 6pm (Zimbabwean time).

Zimbabwe golf legend Nick Price, who De Jonge says is his role model, has two PGA Championship titles to his name having won the 1992 and 1994 titles.

Meanwhile, De Jonge is currently the favourite to represent the country at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

De Jonge, who partnered another local player Bruce McDonald to a credible 12th place finish at the Golf World Cup in China last year, is currently the highest placed Zimbabwean on the world golf rankings.

Golf, which was last included at the Olympics in 1904, returns to the Olympic programme in Rio de Janeiro after the International Olympic Committee added it back.

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