brendon de jongeZIMBABWEAN golfer Brendon de Jonge will make his debut at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa early next month, the first time he will be participating in an African tournament this season.

The burly golfer has been making waves in the golf world this year, with his season highlight being a career-best 26th place finish in the FedExCup.Among his four top 10s was a season-best T6 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open early this year.

The 33-year-old has competed in 30 events this year, racking up a total of $1 795 244.

However, all his achievements so far this season have come when competing at tournaments in the United States, Asia, Europe and Australia.

But de Jonge will be descending “home” when he takes part at the expanded Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City on the December 5-8 tourney.

The event will be one of the three tournaments that de Jonge will be playing in a space of a month.

Before he arrives in South Africa, his busy schedule will see him compete at the 35th Australian Masters at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club which starts on Thursday next week.

A week later, he will be representing the country at the $8 million ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf at the same venue — before flying down to Africa.

Besides de Jonge, other big names that have confirmed their participation at the South Africa event include Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia, the organisers have said.

No 4-ranked Henrik Stenson and No 5 Justin Rose, the US Open champion, will also play for the $1,5 million prize money.

While de Jonge will be making his debut, Donald will be making a return to Sun City for the first time since 2011, when he played at the Nedbank as the No 1-ranked player the week before making history as the first man to top the US and European money lists.

Another tournament favourite Garcia has won this title twice before and is in the running to be the first non-African to claim a hat trick of titles at Sun City.

This year’s Nedbank has full European Tour status and counts toward world rankings, Ryder Cup points and the tour’s Race to Dubai money list.

The invitational event also has been expanded from 12 to 30 players and the prize money increased to $6,5 million, although the winner’s share is unchanged.

From : Newsday.co.zw

By : Henry Mhara

5 November 2013