De Jonge unsure of Pres Cup team

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s top golfer golfer Brendon de Jonge is not optimistic of earning the captain pick for this year’s Presidents’ Cup.  

De Jonge fired a second-round 65 at the Deutsche Bank Championship on his way to a ninth place finish at the tournament with a gross total of 15-under 269.

The reigning Zimbabwe Sportsperson of the Year finished the tournament as the highest placed African and pocketed a $208 000 for his efforts.

The ninth place finish was however not good enough for De Jonge to push for a top 10 finish on the Presidents’ Cup International Team rankings.

De Jonge stands in 14th place with 70.21 points from 52 events. Only the top 10 ranked players qualified to be in captain Nick Price’s International Team.

Price is set to name two extra golfers as his picks Wednesday and is like to go for Thongchai Jaidee, Marc Leishman or Tim Clark, who all occupy 11,12 and 13th places on the rankings.

De Jonge moved onto the leaderboard at the Deutsche Bank Championship with his bogey-free round on Saturday at TPC Boston, but does not expect it to change captain Price’s mind about his potential captain’s picks.

“I think he’s got a pretty good idea who it’s going to be,” De Jonge told the Golf Channel this week.

“It’s kind of hard to base it off one week.”

De Jonge’s impressive run on the PGA Tour this season will, however, be hard to ignore. He has 10 top-25 finishes in 27 events this season and has not finished outside the top 60 in FedEx Cup points the last four seasons.

Price is also something of a mentor to De Jonge and is very much aware of his fellow Zimbabwean’s potential. Just don’t expect that to impact his decision on potential picks.

“We talk a lot, but not about the Presidents Cup. I’ve kind of left that one alone,” De Jonge said. “It would be the highlight of my career. Playing for Nick would be the added incentive.”

The 10 golfers who qualified for Price’s team based on their ranking are Adam Scott and Jason Day of Australia; Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace and Richard Sterne of South Africa; Hideki Matsuyama of Japan; Graham DeLaet of Canada; and Angel Cabrera of Argentina.

Price will have four players who have never competed in a Presidents Cup.

"What they lack in experience, I think they'll make up for in energy," Price said.

The International team has only won this event one time since it began in 1994 — in 1998 at Royal Melbourne. The Americans lead the series 7-1-1.

American captain Fred Couples will make his two captain's picks today with Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson already qualified via the rankings.

This year’s competition will take place between October 3 and 6 with all matches being played at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio.

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