De Jonge misses Vegas jackpot

HARARE - Zimbabwe PGA Tour contender Brendon de Jonge was left gutted after missing the $4, 5 million jackpot cheque at the Las Vegas Open losing out to American Ryan Moore.

The American, rock-solid over the closing stretch, fended off playing partner de Jonge in a final-round duel to win his second PGA Tour title by one shot.

Tied for the lead overnight with de Jonge and Swede Jonas Blixt, Moore fired a five-under-par 66 in glorious afternoon sunshine at the TPC Summerlin to finish with a 24-under 260.

De Jonge’s gross total at the end of a pulsating fourth round on Sunday was a 24-under 261 and walked away with a price of $486 000.

"I am obviously a little bit disappointed right now but, in saying that, Ryan (Moore) played great all day," said the 32-year-old Zimbabwean.

"He was very, very solid, especially down the stretch. He hit some great shots.  I will build on that. Obviously it's disappointing but I'll get over it pretty quickly. It was fun out there."

The second place in Las Vegas is de Jonge’s highest finish on the PGA Tour since turning professional in 2003.

Previously he had managed three third place finishes on the tour.

The tournament was ultimately decided at the par-five 16th where Moore edged one stroke clear with a two-putt birdie after the longer hitting de Jonge had found trees off the tee and was forced to chip out sideways with his second shot.

"You've only got to get a ball on the fairway there and then you're going to be hitting a mid-iron in there today, it was playing a little bit down breeze," de Jonge said of his wayward drive at the 16th.

"That was definitely the turning point for me."

Moore, a Las Vegas resident, had further reason to celebrate the win as his wife Nichole is scheduled to give birth to their first child in less than a month.

"We've got our first baby on the way in about 25 days, so the countdown starts right now," Moore beamed.

"This is it for me (on the 2012 PGA Tour). I am done for the year. It's been an unbelievable week.
“I have had such great support from a bunch of family and friends out here. When I won the Wyndham, there was actually nobody there with me and I've got about 35, 40 people with me this week.”

Moore covered the back nine in a flawless three-under 33 to shake off de Jonge in what proved to be a two-man Sunday shootout in the Nevada desert, the Zimbabwean having to settle for a career-best second after closing with a 67.

PGA Tour rookie Blixt, like de Jonge seeking a maiden title on the US circuit, carded a 70 to secure third place at 20-under, two strokes better than Australian Jason Day (65).

Though three players had shared the lead overnight in the first of four events in the PGA Tour's Fall Series, Blixt slipped back with a bogey at the par-four first, effectively leaving Moore and de Jonge to duel for the title.

Moore and de Jonge carded matching birdies at the ninth, 11th and 13th to remain level, though the Zimbabwean squandered a golden chance to grab the outright lead when his six-foot birdie attempt on 12 slipped past the right edge of the cup.

    Post a comment

    Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
    Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
    - Editor

    Your email address will not be shared.