De Jonge carries Africa’s hopes at US Open

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ZIMBABWE’S Brendon de Jonge carries Africa’s hopes at the prestigious US Open after his solid two-under par 68 put him in a tie for second position after the first round of the year’s second major championship at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina on Thursday.

SPORTS REPORTER

After getting off to a rather slow start with consecutive bogeys in his first two holes, de Jonge rebounded impressively to finish just three shots behind first-round leader Martin Kaymer from Germany.

Kaymer carded six birdies and one bogey to record a superb five-under-par 65, claiming a three-shot lead over de Jonge, former US Open champion Graeme McDowell and American duo Kevin Na and Fran Quinn.

Playing alongside American Kevin Stadler and Irishman Shane Lowry, de Jonge stood out with his ball striking and accuracy as he hit every fairway during his round while missing just two greens.

He made four birdies and no bogeys over his final 16 holes.
“I hit it in a lot of fairways, which was obviously key trying to control it coming into these greens,” de Jonge told the PGA Tour website.

“It sort of set up the golf course for me today. I got off to a bit of a shaky start, and then made a couple of birdies before the turn, which was great.

“It’s definitely a different thought process than you’ve got 16 more holes to get it back. You’ve got 16 more holes to hang on. Anything under par is obviously very, very pleasing out here.”
This is de Jonge’s second US Open appearance. He made his debut in 2010 at the world renowned Pebble Beach with a 2-under 69, but played the next three rounds in 14 over par en route to a T33 finish.

He will no doubt be hoping for a stronger finish this year. Charl Schwartzel (tied for 17th) from South Africa is the next beset-placed African golfer on level par 70 with his compatriots Garth Mulroy and Louis Oosthuizen tied for position 36 on one over par 71.

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