AFTER missing out on the first three major golf championships of the year, US-based Zimbabwean professional golfer Brendon De Jonge makes his first appearance in a major event this season when he tees off at the 95th PGA Championship in New York tomorrow. DANIEL NHAKANISO
The PGA Championship, which is the final major of the golf season after the Masters, the US Open and the British Open Championship, will be played from tomorrow to Sunday at the Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford.
The prize fund for the tournament stands at a whopping $8 000 000 with a first prize payout of $1 445 000 plus 600 FedEx Cup ranking points for the winner.
De Jonge was grouped with the American duo of David Muttitt and Charlie Beljan for the first two rounds of the tournament and the trio are scheduled tee off for the opening round at 2000 hours (Zimbabwean time) tomorrow.
De Jonge earned his place in the star-studded field of 156 players vying for glory on the back of some good performances on the PGA Tour this season.
The 32 year old Harare-born golfer, who is ranked 90th in the world is currently placed a respectable 64th on the US PGA Tour’s official money list standings having earned $1 180 176 in 24 events on tour this season.
His best finish on the PGA Tour in 2013 is a tie for sixth position at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
De Jonge will head to New York after a two week break on the PGA Tour, having last competed at the Sanderson Farms Championship where he finished in a tie for position 46th.
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The former St John’s College student made the cut at last year’s PGA Championship, earning $16 810 after finishing a tie for 54th on the final leaderboard on six over par 294.
Irishman Rory McIlroy is the defending champion of the New York event having won the 2012 PGA Championship by 8 shots with a score of 13 under par.
World number one Tiger Woods will be the overwhelming favourite to win having just won the Bridgestone Invitational by a whopping seven strokes in Ohio and he will be out to maintain his good form.
Fellow American Phil Mickelson is also on top of his game after recently winning the Scottish Open and the British Open Championships in consecutive weeks last month.