Sunshine Tour

Kruger wins first title on SA soil

2017-08-11 18:02
Jbe' Kruger (Gallo Images)

Kempton Park - Jbe' Kruger hit a nine-iron approach shot on 18 from 162 meters to within two feet of the flag to make birdie and win the Sun Carnival City Challenge by a single shot at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate on Friday.

It looked like the tournament would be decided through a play-off when Kruger - who was level with Neil Schietekat and JJ Senekal on 10-under - made par on 17.

However, after placing his tee shot in the middle of the fairway on 18, he fired in his nine-iron to within close range and needed a simple tap-in to claim victory on his home course.

In a final round where things became tight very early on at the top, and where only one shot separated the leader from the chasing top 10 players, Kruger shot two-under-par 70 to total 11-under-par 205 to win his fourth Sunshine Tour event.

The win is also his maiden victory on home soil as he won all three previous titles outside South Africa.

"On the last hole, I knew I had to make the birdie," Kruger said of that approach shot on 18.

"I hit my best shot of the day, it came out perfectly. The wind just drifted it back a little bit. I had a look at that flag yesterday and I saw it was on a downslope, so you have to almost try and pitch it long."

He had to hold his composure because, on 10-under par, Schietekat and Senekal were poised to accompany him to the play-off hole if he had dropped that shot.

"I knew I could always win," said Kruger. "I mean I know this course backwards."

It had been three years since Kruger won a Sunshine Tour event when he clinched the Golden Pilsner Zimbabwe Open in 2014, but a series of strong performances have delivered him a win on his home course, in his home country.

The duo of Schietekat and Senekal put up a solid fight in the final round, having come from three shots behind the leader in round two, to share the second spot on the last day.

Veteran Hennie Otto, the resurgent Jake Roos and Callum Mowat along with Anthony Michael share fourth on nine-under-par.

Jean Hugo, outgoing champion Ruan de Smidt and Ockie Strydom make up the top-10 on eight-under-par 208.

Scores:

205 - Jbe' Kruger 66 69 70

206 - Neil Schietekat 68 70 68, JJ Senekal 68 70 68

207 - Hennie Otto 69 71 67, Jake Roos 73 66 68, Callum Mowat 72 66 69, Anthony Michael 67 70 70

208 - Jean Hugo 68 71 69, Ockie Strydom 72 66 70, Ruan de Smidt 69 68 71

209 - Jonathan Agren 68 72 69

210 - Mark Williams 73 67 70, Jason Froneman 70 70 70, Tyrone Ferreira 73 66 71, JC Ritchie 69 70 71

211 - Theunis Spangenberg 68 72 71, Michael Palmer 69 69 73, Titch Moore 67 69 75|

212 - Jacques Kruyswijk 68 75 69, Chris Swanepoel 70 72 70, Zack Byrd 72 69 71, Mark Murless 70 71 71, Hennie du Plessis 65 72 75, Louis de Jager 70 67 75

213 - Christiaan Basson 75 69 69, Ulrich van den Berg 72 71 70, Jared Harvey 71 71 71

214 - N.J. Arnoldi 73 69 72, Keith Horne 72 67 75

215 - Doug McGuigan 72 71 72, Merrick Bremner 70 67 78

216 - Musiwalo Nethunzwi 74 68 74, James Kamte 67 72 77

217 - Andrew van der Knaap 72 72 73, Scott Campbell 72 71 74, Wynand Dingle 72 69 76

219 - Stuart Smith 74 70 75

220 - Aubrey Beckley 73 71 76

224 - Antonio Rosado 74 70 80

225 - Dayne Moore 76 68 81

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  jbe' kruger  |  golf
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