RISING golf prodigy Scott Vincent has overtaken Brendon de Jonge as Zimbabwe’s highest-ranked professional golfer on the Official World Golf Rankings following his impressive second-place finish at the Shinhan Donghae Open in Incheon, South Korea, on Sunday. BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Vincent made a memorable return on the Asian Tour professional circuit after earning his playing privileges early this year, posting rounds of 69, 64, 68 and 69 for four-day total of 14-under-par 270.
Although he narrowly missed out on a maiden win by one shot to India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, Vincent showed that he could match up against some of the best players on the Asian Tour, which has proven to be the springboard for success for many of the region’s
Yesterday the 24-year-old made the biggest leap of his young professional career after skipping 155 places on the rankings from position 452 to a career-high 297.
In the process Vincent overtook PGA Tour veteran de Jonge, who has been the country’s top-ranked professional since the retirement of the legendary trio of Nick Price, Tony Johnson and Mark McNulty.
After a miserable run of poor form, de Jonge has been on a freefall on the world rankings, dropping to position 417, a far cry from his career-high ranking of 58 he achieved in 2013.
While de Jonge has struggled over the last six months, Vincent, who turned professional in June last year after a sterling amateur career, has continued to make progress in the paid ranks while his younger brother Kieran is also coming up.
Plying his trade on the Southern Africa Sunshine Tour, the Canadian PGA Tour and the Asian Tour professional circuits, Vincent has already shown enough potential to become the country’s next big thing in the game.
Prior to his arrival in Korea last week, Vincent enjoyed an impressive debut season in Canada where he managed three top finishes in 13 starts to finish in 20th position on the Order of Merit Standings, which earned him an exemption into the second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School later this year.
The Web.com Tour is the main developmental tour in the US and the main pathway for players hoping to earn playing privileges on the money-spinning US PGA Tour.