De Jonge ties for 26 at Phoenix Open

HARARE - Brendon de Jonge dug deep to fire a final round 68 that saw him climb 12 places at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona.

The Zimbabwean golfer eventually ended his campaign tied on 26 on six under 278, nine strokes adrift of winner Brooks Koepka of the United States.

Koepka’s five-under 66, completed by a 50-foot eagle, was enough to capture the Phoenix Open for his first PGA Tour victory after five golfers had a share of the lead during the final hour of the tournament.

“It feels amazing,” Koepka told Associated Press after his one-shot win over Hideki Matsuyama, Masters champion Bubba Watson and Ryan Palmer.

“It’s unbelievable,” he added.

“I didn’t think I would work my way up this quickly, but playing the Challenge and European tours led to this.

“And especially the failure I’ve had. I can’t tell you how much I learned from that.”

As for de Jonge, his final round was one of contrasting fortunes with birdies on the first, seventh, eighth, 12, 13 15 and 16 holes.

His blemish was a bogey on the sixth, a double bogey on the ninth and a bogey on the 11th hole.

But out of his final round campaign it is the 16th hole he will look back at with pride.

The 34-year-old rolled in a 59-foot putt for birdie on the par-3 16th hole to draw applause from spectators that thronged the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

His final round was a drastic improvement for de Jonge, whose first, second and third rounds produced tournament statics of nine birdies, 39 pars and six bogeys.

He had shot a third round 72, over the 7 266 yards TPC Scottsdale course, coming on the back of one birdie and two bogeys.

The Harare-born golfer had earlier got off to a flier, signing for a first round 66 that was triggered by a driving accuracy of 78, 57 percent.

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