De Jonge tees off in World Cup of Golf

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BRENDON de Jonge will be looking to surpass where his idol and legend Nick Price failed when the United States based golfer represents the country at the $8 million ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia next month.

HENRY MHARA
SPORTS REPORTER

The lucrative tournament which will be played under a new format this year, will run from November 21 to 24.

Unlike in the previous years when the format was a team event only, this year’s tourney will also feature an individual competition offering prize money of $7 million.

However, the tourney will also retain its team component as nations with two qualified players will be eligible for the team event offering $1 million in prize money.

Tournament officials yesterday announced the finalized field for the tournament and as hugely expected, the country’s number one golfer de Jonge, who has had a successful season so far, has his name featuring.

Also included in the strong field are world top names like Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and Bill Haas of the United States, South Africans Branden Grace and Richard Sterne, and Argentina’s Angel Cabrera.

Despite a successful season which saw de Jonge being selected and making an impressive debut for the international team at the Presidents Cup, which was captained by Price in Ohio last week, this would be a chance for him to win a major this year.

It would also be a chance for the burly Harare born professional golfer to exceed where his compatriots, the legendary Price and the celebrated Mark McNulty, failed.

The former world number one golfer Price and McNulty represented the country at the same tournament in 1994 and won a silver medal.

In the previous year, McNulty had teamed up with Tony Johnstone to also finish as runners up.

Since then, the country has not finished near the medal podium, or was not represented at the tournament at all.

First played in 1953, the World Cup of Golf is one of the oldest and most prestigious global golf team events in the world inviting two man teams from 28 nations to represent their country.

The latest edition will be the 57th staging of this event, which has seen all of the greats of the game lift the prestigious trophy.

The list of champions from the World Cup reads like a who’s who of golf. Great names such as Snead, Hogan, Nicklaus, Palmer, Trevino, Faldo, Ballesteros, Langer, Woods, Els and Montgomerie have all been able to call themselves World Cup Champions.

This year’s field represents 34 countries, 74 PGA Tour victories, 31 European Tour champions, 11 players who have played in the Presidents Cup and seven players with Ryder Cup experience.

The field for the 2013 ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf is based on a similar system of eligibility and format to that which will be utilized when golf makes its Olympic debut in 2016.

Players within the top 15 on the Official World Golf Ranking gain access to the event.

The event is primarily an individual stroke-play competition, although it will also retain its traditional team component.