For Brendon de Jonge, the phone call he received from International Presidents Cup team captain Nick Price last week is the highlight of his golf career to this point.
De Jonge was wrestling with his children in the floor of his house in Charlotte, N.C., when Price called.
“I didn’t know if it was going to be good news or bad news,” said de Jonge, who finished just outside the top 10 automatic qualifying spots. “The first thing Nick said was, ‘I hope you’ve got a beer in your hand because you’re on my team.’ ”
De Jonge and Marc Leishman were Price’s two captain’s picks for the October matches at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, where they will try to help the International team reverse the lopsided results in the Presidents Cup.
A native of Zimbabwe, de Jonge lists Price as his sports idol and now has the chance to play on his team.
“It was definitely on my mind near the end,” de Jonge said.
“Guys were asking me about it and I played with Ernie (Els) the last round in Boston and that felt kind of like an audition,” he said. “This is without a doubt the biggest thing in my career not just because it’s the Presidents Cup but because it’s playing for Nick and my relationship with him.”
Before the Presidents Cup, de Jonge remains alive in the FedEx Cup playoffs, ranking 26th entering the BMW Championship. A good finish this week and de Jonge can reach the Tour Championship for the first time.
“I’m very satisfied with how things are going. The glaring omission is still a win, though,” de Jonge said. “The Presidents Cup is a wonderful addition but the next two weeks are probably more important to me for different reasons.”