Zimbabwe’s top golfer Brendon de Jonge will be hoping for a strong performance at this week’s Puerto Rico Open to enhance his chances qualifying for the International Team to face the United States at the Presidents Cup in South Korea in October.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The burly golfer, who played at the last Presidents Cup held in the US, is currently out of the running to automatically to make the team to be captained by countryman Nick Price, who yesterday named fellow Zimbabweans Mark McNulty and Tony Johnstone as his assistants.
De Jonge needs to be in the top 10 on the Presidents Cup International Team rankings to automatically qualify for the tournament, but is currently ranked 19th.
However, after a rather subdued start to his campaign on the PGA Tour this year, De Jonge will have a chance to bounce back into contention with a fine perfomance at the Trump International Golf Club starting tomorrow.
He has an impressive record at the Puerto Rico Open, with three top-15 finishes in four tries and with the world’s top 50 players contesting at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, he will be one of the favourites to challenge for the title.
The Harare-born golfer did not feature at the Puerto Rico Open last year, but before that, he made each of his four cuts with an impressive tie for third position in 2010 the obvious highlight.
With that established record, De Jonge, who has never won on the PGA Tour, will have a chance to finally register his maiden win.
The 2015 Puerto Rico Open also seems to have come at the right time for the Zimbabwean after he rebounded from a missed cut at the Northern Trust Open two weeks ago to finish in a tie for position at The Honda Classic last weekend.
According to the draw released yesterday, De Jonge will tee off from the first tee alongside his former college teammate at Virginia Tech University, American Johnson Wagner and Chris Stroud tonight at 1800 hours (Zimbabwean time).
American professional golfer Chesson Hadley will be the defending champion this week after picking up his first PGA Tour win in this event a year ago.
The tournament will have a prize fund of $3 000 000 with the winner taking home $540 000.