Kruger joint SA Open leader
Jbe' Kruger (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Jbe' Kruger scorched his way around the Serengeti Golf Estate to take the first round lead with a seven under 65 at the South African Open on Thursday.
Tied on the same score is Steven O'Hara of Scotland, with Retief Goosen a shot back on six under in the co-sanctioned European and Sunshine tour event.
Kruger vaulted his score to seven under, with an eagle on the signature par-five eighth, coming to the end of his round.
Starting on the 10th, he opened up with two birdies on the 11th and 12th holes and then added two more around the turn.
Kruger, playing in the morning, posted his score shortly after crowd favourite and defending champion Ernie Els had begun his round.
Kruger also led last week after two rounds in the Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek, but finished the weekend on two over par and will be looking to avoid a repeat performance.
The scoring indicated the early starters had the best of the conditions.
Goosen, also teeing off in the morning on the 10th hole, threw in five birdies and bogey in his first nine.
On his way back he started off with an eagle on the short par-four second where he chipped in.
He was unable to improve his score from that point as he played the next seven holes in one over par.
In the afternoon a number of players reached the six-under score, including David Hewan, Merrick Bremner and Tyrone Mordt.
George Coetzee finished with a 68, one ahead of playing partner Els.
Scores after Day 1 (RSA, unless noted):
65 - Steven O'Hara (SCO); Jbe' Kruger
66 - Retief Goosen; David Hewan; Merrick Bremner; Tyrone Mordt
67 - Shaun Norris; Jean Hugo; Garth Mulroy; Felipe Aguilar (CHL)
68 - Soren Hansen (DEN); Mark Brown (NZL); David Frost; Trevor Fisher Jnr; Phillip Price (WAL); Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA); Jared Harvey (AMA); Thomas Aiken; George Coetzee; Keith Horne; David Drysdale (SCO); Markus Brier (AUT); Jeppe Huldahl (DEN)
69 - Louis Moolman; Bernd Wiesberger (AUT); George Murray (SCO); Alvaro Velasco (ESP); Branden Grace; Gareth Maybin (NIR); Jaco Van Zyl; Floris de Vries (NED); Thomas Norret (DEN); Jake Roos; Thabang Simon; Ockie Strydom; Lyle Rowe; Oliver Wilson (ENG); Elliot Saltman(SCO); Ernie Els; Andrew Curlewis; Ulrich van den Berg; Lloyd Saltman (SCO)
70 - Lindani Ndwandwe; Richard McEvoy (ENG); Graeme Storm (ENG); Simon Dyson (ENG); Clinton Whitelaw; Hennie Otto; Lee Slattery (ENG); Wade Ormsby(AUS); Peter Whiteford(SCO); Pablo Martin (ESP); John Parry (ENG); Chris Williams; Omar Sandys; Prinavin Nelson; PH McIntyre; Alastair Forsyth(SCO); Mikko Korhonen (FIN); Carlos Del Moral (ESP); Soren Kjeldsen (DEN); Tim Sluiter (NED); Grant Muller
71 - Andre Cruse; Darryn Lloyd; Danie van Tonder; Manuel Quiros (ESP); JG Claassen; Jacques Blaauw; Simon Wakefield (ENG); Oliver Bekker; Daniel Greene; Ariel Canete (ARG); Justin Harding; Darren Fichardt; Mark Tullo (CHI); Alan McLean (SCO); Joel Sjoholm (SWE); Tano Goya (ARG); Lan Boezaart (AMA) Par - Robert Rock (ENG); Richard Bland (ENG); Robert Coles (ENG); Dodge Kemmer (USA); Adam Gee (ENG); Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR); Michiel Bothma; Linus Gillgren (SWE); Tjaart van der Walt; Martin Maritz; Richard Finch (ENG); Scott Jamieson (SCO); Niclas Fasth (SWE); Josh Cunliffe; Tyrone Ferreira; Chris Swanepoel; Ryan Cairns (ZIM)
73 - TC Charamba (ZIM); Andreas Hart (DEN); Gavan Levenson; Deane Pappas; Maarten Lafeber (NED); Matt Haines (ENG); Haydn Porteous (AMA); Mark Williams; Anthony Michael; Eirik Tage Johansen (NOR); Brandon Stone (AMA); Bradford Vaughan; Louis de Jager; David Howell (ENG); Alan Michell; Magnus A Carlsson (SWE); Alex Haindl; Colin Nel; Willie van der Merwe
74 - Julio Zapata (ARG); Des Terblanche; Sam Little (ENG); Garry Hill; Justin Walters; Brandon Pieters; Robert Dinwiddie (ENG); Michael Stewart (SCO) (AMA); Warren Abery; Allan Versfeld; Jaco Ahlers; Liam Bond (WAL); Oskar Henningsson (SWE); Matthew Nixon (ENG); Julien Guerrier (FRA)
75 - Oscar Floren (SWE); James Kamte; Neil Schietekat; Sean Farrell (ZIM); Christiaan Basson; Tyrone van Aswegen; Charl Coetzee; Ruan de Smidt (AMA)
76 - Toto Thimba (Jnr); James Kingston; Nick Dougherty (ENG)
77 - Daniel Gaunt (AUS); Doug McGuigan; Neil Cheetham (ENG); Seve Benson (ENG); Stephen Dodd (WAL); Divan van den Heever; PG van Zyl; Johan du Buisson
79 - Bennie van der Merwe; David Dixon (ENG)
80 - Theunis Spangenberg; Rynardt Combrinck; Alexandre Kaleka (FRA) RTD - Rafa Echenique (ARG)