De Jongé hopeful ahead of tourney

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BRENDON De Jongé has enjoyed yet another successful season on the US PGA Tour, but could finish on a higher note with another impressive perfomance at the 2013 CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur Golf&Country Club in Malaysia next week.

DANIEL NHAKANISO
SPORTS REPORTER

The US-based Zimbabwean professional golfer, still fresh from an impressive debut for the International team at the President’s Cup in Ohio, US, was this week confirmed as one of the entries for the CIMB Classic which will run from October 24 to 27.

The CIMB classic is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour and up for grabs will be a $7 million purse, Official World Golf Ranking points and official FedExCup points.

The winner of the 2013 CIMB Classic also receives a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a spot in the first golf major of the season, the 2014 Masters at Augusta National.

De Jongé, now ranked number six in Africa and 63rd in the world on the latest rankings, has a good record in Malaysia after finishing an impressive fourth at last year’s edition.

The burly Harare-born golfer was undeterred by the hot and humid conditions to tie for fourth position alongside world number one Tiger Woods and American Chris Kirk on 19-under-par 265 and just three shots behind the eventual winner Nick Watney.

The complete field for the CIMB Classic this year will comprise 60 players from the PGA Tour, the top 10 available players from the Asian Tour Order of Merit and eight sponsor’s exemptions.

“This is a stellar field and the strongest ASEAN has ever seen — 20 of the top 50 players in the world and 15 major championship victories and 170 PGA Tour wins collectively.

“With so many great players taking to the course, we are bound to see some fantastic golf,” Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, group chief executive of CIMB said.

“With its ascension to a full-fledged US PGA tour event, the CIMB Classic is now Malaysia’s biggest international sporting event and will showcase golf in our country to at least 700 million viewers worldwide,” Nazir added.