Zimbabwe’s leading professional golfer Brendon de Jonge carded a bogey-free, five-under-par 67 at Sea Island’s Plantation Course in the opening round of the RSM Classic, finishing one stroke off the lead in St Simons Island, Georgia, in the United States on Thursday. BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Playing on the same course, where he achieved his career-best finish on the PGA Tour last year, where he lost in a play-off to American Robert Streb, De Jonge sank an impressive five birdies, including on all par-5s.
The former St Johns’ College student was also accurate from tee to green, finding 12 out of 14 fairways and 15 greens in regulation.
American Kevin Kisner led the field after the opening round after firing a sparkling seven-under-par 65 to end the day one ahead of compatriots Jim Herman, Kyle Stanley, Kevin Chappell, Scott Stallings, Jeff Overton, Tom Hoge, Canadian David Hearn and South Korea’s Kim Si-woo.
De Jonge will be hoping for a solid year on the PGA Tour to improve his chances of representing Zimbabwe at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Harare-born golfer is currently ranked 40th on the Olympic Golf Rankings and would earn a spot in the field at the 2016 Rio Olympics if he maintains a place in the top 60 until the cutoff date of July 11, 2016.