NORTON, Mass. – Brendon de Jonge didn’t see this coming.
With a 6-under-par 65, de Jonge seized the first-round lead Friday at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
“It came completely out of nowhere,” de Jonge said. “It’s out of left field.”
De Jonge missed the cut in his last two starts. He has five missed cuts in his last 10 starts and hasn’t finished among the top 30 in a PGA Tour event since May.
“Very, very frustrating,” de Jonge said. “I haven't been able to put my finger on what I've really been struggling with, just as I said, not doing anything great. It's been difficult to put a score up. It’s definitely frustrating. I feel like I've been working hard, so, hopefully this is reaping up a few of the benefits of that.”
De Jonge made the Presidents Cup International team as a captain’s pick two years ago. He’s 30th on the International points list this year. He says he’s so far down the list, he can’t see a victory this week even giving himself a chance as a captain’s pick.
“I don't think so,” de Jonge said. “I think that ship has probably sailed. There are so many guys that are playing such good golf on the International team right now. One great week wouldn't warrant a pick for me.”
De Jonge finished 26th on the FedEx Cup points list in 2013, the year he made the International team. He slipped to 91st last year and is 56th in FedEx Cup points this week.
“Obviously, I was looking to build on the Presidents Cup,” de Jonge said. “I felt like I really played nicely for that entire week. To have the season I had last season, following up the Presidents Cup, wasn't what I wanted by any means. And then I start off this season great. I lost in the playoff (at the McGladrey Classic) early in the year and had a couple of really good chances to win, which is what I was looking for.
“But, obviously, two years later, the big thing was to get that first win, which I haven't. That's still the glaring omission. I need to get back to playing the sort of golf that I have for a long time, where I've been consistent, and been in contention a lot, which is what's been lacking recently.”