ACE Zimbabwe golfer Brendon de Jonge shot a four-under-par final round 67 to cap off a good week after finishing in a three-way tie for 13th position Shriners Hospitals for Children Open played out at the TPC Summerlin course in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
After missing the cut in his first event of the new PGA Tour season at the Frys.com Open a fortnight ago, de Jonge was under pressure to do well this week to enhance his chances of qualifying for next year’s Olympics.
The 35-year-old responded with a solid performance in one of his favourite events on the PGA Tour, carding rounds of 67, 66, 73 and 67 to earn himself $123 733,33.
Infact de Jonge briefly shared the early clubhouse lead with Nick Watney after reaching the midpoint of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in 9-under-par 133, only to be derailed by his two-over-par round on day three.
Despite finishing well with the 67 de Jonge was unable to launch a late charge as he finished tied alongside Americans Patrick Rodgers and Jamie Lovemark on 11-under- par 273.
The trio were five strokes behind the eventual winner, rookie Smylie Kaufman who finished on 16-under-par 268 for his first PGA Tour title.
De Jonge was the highest placed African in the field as he finished two shots ahead of with South Africa’s Rory Sabatini, who settled for position 25 on nine-under-par 275.
Just like de Jonge, also got off to a good start with a 66 but faltered as the tournament went on with scores of 72, 71 before closing with another superb 66.
De Jonge will be hoping to maintain the positive momentum when he heads to Malaysia this week, where he is part of the star studded field for $7 million CIMB Classic at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
The CIMB Classic, now in its sixth year, will feature a 78-player elite field, comprising 60 from the PGA Tour, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor’s exemptions.
The Harare-born golfer is part of the strong 66-man field from the US PGA Tour and given his solid outing at the weekend, the burly Zimbabwean will be hoping to bring with him the positive momentum from Las Vegas to Malaysia.