De Jonge fades at Honda Classic

HARARE - After enjoying a good early start to the Honda Classic on the PGA Tour, Zimbabwean golfer Brendan de Jonge quickly faded in the penultimate round to eventually finish 39.

De Jonge was in contention to win his first ever PGA Tour title after carding 66 and 68 in the opening two rounds.  Playing alongside Rory McIlroy in the final pairing after the cut, de Jonge birdied two of his first three holes to reach 12 under for the tournament and get within one shot of the Irishman in the third round.

From there, though, de Jonge struggled to keep his game on the rails, ultimately carding a six-over 76 that sent him plummeting down the standings.

It did not get any better for de Jonge in the final round as he went on to card an eight-over 78.

The Zimbabwean was disappointed with the way his game went off the rails after that blistering early start.

“It was just unfortunately one of those bad days,” de Jonge told the Golf Channel. “It’s going to happen if you play this game for long enough.

“I just hit too many bad shots. I was putting for too many pars on this golf course.”

In the end, the Honda Classic was won by American Russell Henley at the first extra hole to pocket the $1 million prize money.

Henley birdied the first extra hole, the par-five 18th, from two feet in fading light to edge out McIlroy, American Ryan Palmer and Scotland's Russell Knox.

McIlroy surrendered a big lead with an error-strewn 74 in the final round, though he made a birdie at the 72nd hole to qualify for the playoff after hitting a superb second shot to 11 feet, only to miss the eagle putt.

Henley (72), Palmer (69) and Knox (71) also made mistakes over the closing stretch to finish level with McIlroy at eight-under-par 272.

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