ZIMBABWE’S leading professional golfer Brendon de Jongé appeared to blow his chances of capturing a maiden PGA Tour win after a six-over par 76 in the third round on Saturday left him eight shots behind at the $6 million Honda Classic in Palm Beach, Florida, United States.
Playing alongside Rory McIlroy in the final pairing, de Jongé birdied two of his first three holes to reach 12-under par for the tournament and get within one shot of the former world number one player.
From there, though, de Jongé struggled to keep his game on the rails, ultimately carding a six-over 76 that sent him plummeting down the leaderboard to a tie for 24th position.
“It was just unfortunately one of those bad days,” de Jongé, who was expected to begin the final round at four- under, eight shots behind McIlroy late yesterday, said.
“It’s going to happen if you play this game for long enough.”
De Jongé found water hazards at the par fours at number six and 11, leading to a disastrous double bogey on both occasions.
He closed his round with three bogeys across his final five holes, carding a five-over 40 on the back nine.
Of the 79 players that teed it up in the third round, only William McGirt (78) shot a higher score.
After taking just 51 putts through the first two rounds on the Champion Course, de Jongé needed 30 putts to complete his round Saturday despite finding only 11 of 18 greens in regulation.
“I just hit too many bad shots,” he added. “I was putting for too many pars on this golf course.”
Competing against a world-class field that featured seven of the world’s top 10 players, de Jongé had got his campaign off to a flier after carding a superb six-under 64 on the par-70 course for a 10-under 130 total at the halfway stage of the tournament.