TOP Zimbabwean professional golfer Brendon de Jonge looks set to progress to the latter stages of the money spinning PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs after an impressive start at The Barclays tournament at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey.
The 34-year-old US-based star carded a sparkling five-under-par 66 in his opening round for a share for second position on the crowded leaderboard with Americans Charles Howell III, Cameron Tringale, Ben Martin and Brendon Todd.
De Jonge trails the early leader, Bo Van Pelt by just one stroke after the American chipped in for eagle at the par-five 17th hole for a 65.
After a brilliant round in which he managed an impressive six birdies and just one bogey, de Jonge said he was pleased with his start.
“Yeah, obviously very pleased. I drove the ball nicely out there today, which is the key to this golf course. You are going to have a couple birdie chances, but that was definitely the key to the round. Hopefully I can carry on with the momentum. I’ve heard the weather might be a little bit iffy tomorrow morning, so we’ll see, we’ll deal with that,” said De Jonge.
De Jonge got his round off to a quiet start as he parred the first four holes before managing his only birdie on the front nine at the par-four fifth hole.
Consecutive birdies at the start of his back nine were followed by three other birdies and just one bogey at the par-four 14th.
After his solid start in New Jersey, De Jonge looks set to progress to the next stage of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
After this weekend’s Barclays tournament, the top 100 players qualify for next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, before the top 75 from that event qualify for the BMW Championship and the top 30 qualify for the playoff-final, The Tour Championship.
De Jonge, who entered the playoffs ranked 71st has made the FedExCup Playoffs in each of the last four years, racking up four top-25 finishes in as many starts in 2013.
Last season, De Jonge made his first trip to the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola, finishing a career-best 26th in the FedExCup standings which earned him a place in all four major championships this year.