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July 31 2011

9:24 PM

De Jonge rallies, but misses chance

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Brendon de Jonge called it a "terrible" effort.

He was looking at a birdie putt on the 72nd hole. A mere 5 feet, 7 inches stood between the big man from Zimbabwe and a share of the lead at The Greenbrier Classic.

But de Jonge missed. And another chance at his first PGA TOUR victory disappeared, as well.

"I had it straight up the hill ... and barely touched the hole and just had a bad putt," de Jonge said.

Still, the former Virginia Tech standout couldn't be too disappointed. He held a share of the 36-hole lead, lost it with a frustrating 72 on Saturday but rallied and gave himself a chance on Sunday.

De Jonge bogeyed his first hole of the final round, but made the turn in 31 after closing out the front nine with a string of three straight birdies. He went on to make a 5-footer at the par-5 17th to move to 9 under and within one stroke of Bob Estes, who was waiting in the clubhouse.

And then he missed that birdie putt.

"I didn't get off to a great start, obviously, bogeying the first but made a couple of birdies around the turn which got me back in the tournament and gave me a chance on the back nine," de Jonge said. "Just didn't make any putts when I needed to."

Even so, de Jonge, who had two top-10s entering The Greenbrier Classic, continues his love affair with The Old White TPC. He finished solo third a year ago.

"It was fun,” de Jonge said. "It was exciting. Obviously, it would have been nice to make that last one or a couple more coming in, but , no, that was fun."

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