Kruger wins Avantha Masters

Sunday, 19 February 2012
Jbe Kruger
Jbe Kruger

South Africa's Jbe Kruger won his first European Tour event at the Avantha Masters in New Delhi on Sunday.

A final-round 69 eased the 25-year-old to a two-stroke win ahead of challengers Jorge Campillo (67) and Marcel Siem (70), who tied for second at 12-under.

Kruger now moves up to fourth on the European Tour money list after a near faultless week of golf.

His four rounds contained just three bogeys, with his only bogey in the final round coming on the 17th hole.

He endured a few more nervous moments on the last when his drive hit a camera, and his second shot strayed into the trees, but his third over the water was superb as the ball landed just 10 feet from the hole.

He missed the resulting birdie putt, but par was enough for a round of 69 and 14-under total at DLF Golf & Country Club.

"I'm very relieved to win for the first time," said Kruger.

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

"It's a big relief now that I've won but I think I needed all those second-placed finishes to be able to appreciate it. There was no pressure even when I made my only bogey of the day on the 17th."

"I felt that victory was inevitable when I got to the 14th hole. I knew that I had a good chance as I had a comfortable three-shot cushion then. I like to know what's going on and I'm aware of the movements on the leaderboard."

Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara, playing in the group ahead of Kruger, bogeyed the 13th to give the South African a three-shot lead to finish in a tie for fourth on 11-under with Australian Marcus Fraser.

Four players finished a shot further back at 10-under - Dane Thorbjorn Olsen, Thailand's Prom Meesawat, Argentinean Tano Goya and Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Gonnet.

Scotland's Peter Whiteford, who was only one shot behind Kruger overnight, was disqualified after TV viewers alerted European Tour Chief Referee John Paramor to an incident on the 18th fairway during the third round.

Whiteford's ball moved slightly after he had addressed it, and having already signed for an incorrect score he was informed of his disqualification when he reached the fourth tee.