PINEHURST, N.C. – Brendon de Jonge wasn’t as sharp Friday as he was the day before, but he battled Pinehurst No. 2 to a draw, carding an even-par 70 in the second round of the U.S. Open.
At 2 under, the Zimbabwean is in great position heading into the weekend – except that the guy he’s chasing is breaking major championship scoring records.
“I didn’t see 10 under out there, but that’s obviously very, very impressive,” said de Jonge, who was tied for second upon signing his scorecard but still eight shots behind leader Martin Kaymer.
De Jonge put on a ball-striking clinic during the opening round, finding each of the 14 fairways and reaching 15 of 18 greens in regulation. He lost a bit of his tee-to-green edge Friday, but managed to remain in the mix by taking only 28 putts, five fewer than his Round 1 total.
“I didn’t play nearly as well today as I did yesterday, but I was lucky enough to manage it and miss it in the right places and got a lot of balls up and down,” de Jonge said. “I feel like I managed my way around there pretty well today, and hopefully more of the same this weekend.”
De Jonge is relatively inexperienced in the majors, as this marks just his second start in a U.S. Open and seventh major appearance overall. While this is his first time in contention – his best major finish to date was a tie for 26th at the 2011 PGA Championship – he has shown a knack for consistency on golf’s biggest stages, cracking the top 50 in each prior major start.
He also feels comfortable at Pinehurst, a venue that reminds him of Royal Melbourne, site of the 2011 Presidents Cup.
“I like the way the golf course looks,” de Jonge said. “I think it’s great. I like the style of golf here.”