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De Jonge surges to first career Nationwide Tour victory

8/17/2008 - Golf

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge won the Xerox Classic for his first Nationwide Tour title Sunday, closing with a 1-under 69 at Irondequoit Country Club for a two-stroke victory over Australia's Jarrod Lyle.

De Jonge finished at 13-under 267 and earned $108,000 to jump from 12th to second on the money list with $316,056. Lyle, seeking his third win of the season and an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour, also finished with a 69.

"This is such a tough golf course that sometimes when you hit a good shot it doesn't end up in a good spot," said de Jonge, tied for 29th in greens in regulation but first in putting for the week. "My short game was probably the best it's ever been for a whole week. It was just one of those weeks."

The top 25 on the final money list will earn 2009 PGA Tour cards.

"I'm very excited," said de Jonge, who lives in Charlotte, N.C. "It was about as hard as I thought it would be."

The 28-year old former Virginia Tech player has par-or-better scores in 26 of his last 28 rounds and is a combined 79 under in that stretch. In his last four starts, he has tied for third, tied for 18th, finished fifth and won.

"This is the best lengthy stretch of golf I've played in my life," de Jonge said.

Lyle earned $64,800 to push his tour-leading total to $358,166. He has topped the money list for the last eight weeks and 16 weeks overall this season.

"You've got to make the most of your opportunities and Brendon obviously did that," Lyle said. "He's too good a player to be hanging around this tour too much longer."

Ricky Barnes (66), Greg Owen (71) and Jonathan Fricke (71) tied for third at 8 under.