Brendon de Jonge (Getty Images)
Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge will make his first appearance in a regular European Tour event since taking up affiliate membership at this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.
A regular on the US PGA Tour, the 33 year old is hoping to experience a more global schedule in 2014, starting with a trip to Leopard Creek.
Four top-ten finishes saw De Jonge progress all the way to the FedEx Cup’s season-ending Tour Championship in 2013, and the World Number 66 is looking to continue that form.
“A lot of it was a comfort level,” he said of a season that saw him finish 26th on the US PGA Tour. “I’ve played for seven years on the PGA Tour now and you get to know the courses better and the towns. Everything becomes a bit easier; that’s had a big part to play in it.
“I took affiliate membership on the European Tour for this coming season so I’m going to try and play a bit more globally. I think it rounds off your game.
“The kind of golf is so different to what we’re used to playing in America. Everything’s in the air in America, whereas on the European Tour the conditions can get windy and firm. It’s a different kind of golf and very refreshing.
“This is a special place. The course looks hard and I think it will be a good test. I’m looking forward to it.”
De Jonge is not the only notable tournament invitation this week, with two-time Major winner John Daly also in the field, and a trio of high-profile players who lost their European Tour cards at the end of last season given a chance to win them back.
Richard Finch, Oliver Fisher and Ignacio Garrido have five European Tour titles between them, but all faced difficult seasons in 2013 and will be looking to get back to winning ways to secure their return to The Race to Dubai.