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De Jonge hit with 4-stroke penalty for damaged club

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LOS ANGELES – Brendon de Jonge’s day at the Northern Trust Open got off to a solid start with a two-putt birdie at the first hole.

Things quickly became more complicated, however, when he missed the green at No. 2 and reached for his 60-degree lob wedge. That’s when he noticed the shaft near the butt of the grip had been dented.

The damage occurred a day earlier when de Jonge had to play a chip shot on his final hole on Thursday with the same wedge from a difficult lie. De jonge thought was plugged, but he was not allowed relief by a PGA Tour official.

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Frustrated, de Jonge swung the handle of the wedge into his golf bag, but didn’t realize he had damaged the club.

Because he doesn’t warm up with that club prior to a round, it wasn’t until the second hole on Friday that he noticed the damage and informed a rules official.

Since de Jonge didn’t use the club on Friday, he wasn’t disqualified; he was, however, penalized four strokes (two strokes for each hole he had it in the bag, with a maximum of four strokes).

“My head really wasn’t in it after that,” said de Jonge, who shot a second-round 77 for a 6 over total to miss the cut. “It was my fault, I should have checked it.”