Home » General » Kruger Wins Second Zim Open

SOUTH African golfer J’be Kruger joined the elite club of local legends Mark McNulty and Nick Price, who had been the only players to win with the Golden Plisener Zimbabwe Open more than once before, when he won at Royal Harare yesterday.

Kruger, winner of the same tournament in 2010, compiled an 18-under-par 270 to finish one stroke ahead of his compatriot Jacques Blaauw.

Hadyn Porteous had at some point taken control of the tournament but a double bogey on the par-4 10th 10 and another dropped shot on the 11th saw his handing the initiative to Kruger, who had been stalking him from behind.

Porteous finished on 16-under while Jaco Ahlers was a shot behind.

But the day belong to Kruger who joined the club of Price (1995, 1997, 1998) and McNulty (1992, 2000) as the only players to have won the Zim Open more than once.

Blaauw could have forced a playoff with a birdie on the last hole but parred the 18th as Kruger, who had completed his match, watched anxiously.

When he won the same tournament for the first time in 2010, Kruger, then a 24-year-old, finished on th 19-under-par 269.

For winning the event yesterday, Kruger took home R285 300 from the R1,8 million prize money.

Blaauw went home R207 000 richer as Porteous collected a R124 560 cheque while 2013 winner Jake Roos was 29th after ending his assignment on five under-par 283.

Kruger said it was an amazing feeling to be able to win his third event on the Sunshine Tour and believes he was under a little bit of pressure this year than in 2010 when he was a virtual underdog.

“It’s amazing. I had a bad couple of years and so it really makes up for all my effort and it’s worthwhile,” he said.

“I knew that I had to make a couple of birdies on the last holes. You have to hit every shot by yourself. If you do make birdies, not everybody would be able to make birdies.

“I have been playing a little bit lately and my expectations were little bit higher than before. But this tournament was definitely a lot tougher to close out (than in 2010).”

In his first round on Thursday, Kruger hit 69, carding nine birdies and three bogeys while the second round was a 69, laced with five birdies and an eagle.

On Saturday he hit a four-under-par 68, managing five birdies, while he completed the last round yesterday by firing his best score of six-under-par 66, spiced with eight birdies.

While Kruger was heading to Malaysia last night to play on the Asian Tour, Blaauw was left cursing his luck after he came so close but fell just short to force a play-off on the 18th hole.

Zimbabwe’s Tongoona Charamba was the highest placed local golfer when he made a top 10 finish on 9-under-par 279.

It was Charamba’s best finish at the Zim Open. Charamba collected R30 456 after finishing joint 10th with James Kingston, Alex Haindi, Danie van Tonder.

Source : The Herald