Kruger wins Avantha Masters

2012-02-19 12:57
Jbe Kruger (File)
Gurgaon  - Jbe Kruger of South Africa clinched his maiden European Tour title when he held his nerve in a tight finish to win the $2.4 million Avantha Masters golf in India on Sunday.

On a dramatic last day when hot contender Peter Whiteford of Scotland was disqualified for a moved ball in the third round, Kruger carded four birdies and a bogey in a final-round three-under par 69.

The 25-year-old from Bloemfontein finished on 14-under 274, two strokes ahead of Spaniard Jorge Campillo and Marcel Siem of Germany, after just three shots had separated the top 15 at the start of the day.

Jose Manual Lara of Spain and Australia's Marcus Fraser came in third at 11-under in an absorbing finale at the par-72 DLF Golf and Country Club on the outskirts of New Delhi.

Whiteford, who led the first two rounds and was one stroke behind leader Kruger after the third, was penalised for the moved ball on the 18th fairway during his round on Saturday.

The Scot was disqualified after the rules committee reviewed the incident on Sunday morning, following television viewers alerting chief referee John Paramor about it.

Whiteford signed his scorecard after consulting his caddy, a fellow competitor and a TV cameraman, who all said they did not believe he had moved the ball.

Paramor said in a statement that if Whiteford had raised the issue before signing his card, the footage would have been reviewed at the time and he would have avoided the disqualification penalty.

There was no immediate comment from the 31-year-old Scot.

Kruger survived anxious moments in the last two holes to cap another fine finish for South Africans, who have now won six of the last 10 European Tour titles.

He was sitting pretty with a three-stroke lead with two holes to play but dropped a shot at the 17th and then hit a wayward tee-shot at the 18th before recovering to secure a par and clinch the title.

"I’m very relieved to win for the first time," said Kruger, who pocketed the winner's purse of €300 000.

"If you want to win, you need to make putts on the final day and I did that today."

India's richest golf event was tri-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours and the Professional Golf Tour of India.

Leading final round scores from the Indian Masters at the par-72 course in New Delhi on Sunday:

274 Jbe Kruger (South Africa) 70 69 66 69 276 Jorge Campillo (Spain) 72 71 66 67
Marcel Siem (Germany) 69 69 68 70 277 Marcus Fraser (Australia) 69 69 69 70
Jose Manuel Lara (Spain) 74 69 64 70 278 Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) 71 67 70 70
Prom Meesawat (Thailand) 72 64 71 71
Estanislao Goya (Argentina) 74 70 64 70
Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (France) 68 69 69 72 279 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand) 68 69 74 68
Ricardo Santos (Portugal) 73 69 69 68
Alejandro Canizares (Spain) 66 73 69 71
Rhys Davies (Britain) 70 69 69 71 280 Gregory Havret (France) 68 70 71 71
Paul McGinley (Ireland) 70 69 68 73
Andrea Pavan (Italy) 69 71 67 73 281 Mohammad Siddikur (Bangladesh) 71 73 69 68
Chawalit Plaphol (Thailand) 75 69 68 69
Julien Quesne (France) 72 71 68 70
Felipe Aguilar (Chile) 73 68 69 71
Joost Luiten (Netherlands) 70 69 70 72 283 Shamim Khan (India) 70 68 74 71 284 Romain Wattel (France) 71 73 73 67
Richard Sterne (South Africa) 71 70 71 72
Zaw Moe (Myanmar) 73 71 68 72
Marcus Both (Australia) 70 70 70 74
Anirban Lahiri (India) 69 69 72 74
Chapchai Nirat (Thailand) 70 67 71 76

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