- Associated Press - Friday, May 2, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Brendon de Jonge never expected to be playing this weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship after shooting 80 in the first round.

Then again, he never thought he would come back and tie the Quail Hollow Club course record with a 10-under 62 Friday, putting him back in contention.

De Jonge said he feels as if he’s stolen a paycheck.

“Yeah, and I’m running with it,” De Jonge said, laughing. “Everything from here on out is a bonus.”

The 18-shot turnaround was the second largest from one round to the next on the PGA Tour since Kevin Stadler went 81-61 at the 2008 Frys.com Open. Stadler did not make the cut in that tournament.

De Jonge said he came into Friday’s round with no expectations and extremely relaxed, figuring he would use the day to work on his game and gear up for The Players Championship next week.

Instead, he wound up with what he called the craziest two days of his professional career. He had eight birdies and chipped in from 63 yards away on the par-4 14th hole.

“Golf is a strange game,” he said.

De Jonge said his play on the greens was the difference. He changed putters after Thursday’s round and suddenly started rolling almost everything in, including a birdie on the difficult par-3 17th hole.

The Zimbabwe native who now lives in Charlotte said he knew he had a chance to break the course record set by Rory McIlroy in 2010 when he lined up his final putt on the ninth hole. But the 19-foot birdie attempt went past the right side of the hole.

He tapped in for par and tossed the ball to a young fan as he left the course to screams of “Great round, Brendon!”

“It’s just another golf ball,” he said with a laugh. “I’m not that superstitious.”


JUST CHILLING: Even-keeled Martin Flores has put himself in good position to win his first PGA Tour title after opening with rounds of 67 and 68.

He has never finished better than fourth place since joining the PGA Tour in 2010.

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