De Jonge qualifies for Players in 11th hour

Brendon de Jonge at the 2007 U.S. Bank Championship.
Brendon de Jonge at the 2007 U.S. Bank Championship. ( Associated Press )

Monday, January 31, 2011

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge didn’t secure a spot in the Players Championship until Sunday night. Now he’s ready to make his first Players start.

De Jonge got in the Players field Sunday when Rory McIlroy, who was already exempt for the Players Championship, won the Quail Hollow Championship.

De Jonge shot a final-round 66 last week at Quail Hollow to finish fourth, his third top-10 of the season. The $312,000 he earned Sunday was the largest paycheck of his PGA Tour career.

De Jonge now makes his home in Charlotte -- the location of Quail Hollow. He played the PGA Tour last year but had to go to Q-School to regain his card. Now he’s in the midst of his best season.

In two PGA Tour seasons in 2007 and 2009, de Jonge finished 139th and 155th respectively on the PGA Tour money list.

De Jonge, the 2008 Nationwide Tour player of the year, is currently 41st on the money list.