ZIMBABWE’S Brendon de Jongé got his campaign on the PGA Tour off to a good start after earning his first top-10 finish this year at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, on Sunday.
The 33-year-old golfer carded a three-under 69 in the final round to finish in a two-way tie for sixth position at nine-under par 279 and earn a cool $239 775 for his efforts.
De Jongé’s previous season best finish was a tie for 11th position achieved at the Humana Challenge way back in January.
Considering De Jongé began his week at the Quail Hollow Club with a disastrous 80 in the opening round on Thursday, it’s a remarkable achievement for the Harare-born golfer to bounce and finish in the top 10.
His round on Sunday featured four birdies and just one bogey, including a brilliant birdie from off the green on the par-four fourth and another at the par-five seventh.
However, it was his superb record equalling 10 under-par 62 on Friday after the 80 on Thursday which proved to be the turning point for de Jongé in North Carolina.
According to reports from the US, De Jongé’s 18-shot turnaround was the second-largest from one round to the next on the PGA Tour since American Kevin Stadler shot 81 and 61 at the 2008 Frys.com Open.
De Jongé missed a 19-foot birdie putt on the final hole Friday that would have broken the course record set by Rory McIlroy in the final round in 2010.
The former Zimbabwe sportsperson of the year said he went out not expecting to make the cut after his poor opening round, but left the course Friday tied for 26th place.
De Jongé said: “Golf is a strange game.”
Meanwhile, De Jongé’s perfomance saw him finish as the highest placed African golfer in the event ahead of three other South Africans who were in the field.
Rory Sabbatini was the highest placed of the South Africans as he finished one shot behind de Jongé in a tie for eighth to continue his run of good form.
Ernie Els finished in a tie for 44th while Retief Goosen opened with two solid 70s, but closed with two not-so-good 74s to finish a shot behind Els in a tie for 50th.
American J B Holmes completed a prolonged and difficult comeback from brain surgery when he claimed the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday.