Kruger wins Avantha Masters golf

February 19th, 2012 - 7:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, Feb 19 (IANS) South Africa’s Jbe Kruger finally shed his perennial bridesmaid’s tag when he closed with a final round three-under-par 69 to win the Avantha Masters here Sunday.

Kruger, who had to settle for the runners-up spot three times, was clearly relieved when he lifted his maiden Asian Tour title with a winning total of 14-under-par 274 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

Spain’s Jorge Campillo signed off with a 67 to take a share of second place with Germany’s Marcel Siem on 276 while Australia’s Marcus Fraser and Spain’s Manuel Jose Lara closed with matching 277s for a share of fourth place at the Avantha Masters, the richest tournament in India with a 1.8 million euro prize fund.

Thailand’s Prom Meesawat emerged as the leading Asian after he signed for a 71 to take a share of sixth place with three other players while compatriot Kiradech Aphibarnrat closed with a 68 to finish in tied-10th.

Kruger, who made his debut on the Asian Tour in 2009, was always in control from the opening tee.

Despite carding a lone bogey on the par-four 17th, the South African knew that it was his title to lose and was clearly elated when he sunk his winning par putt on the closing 18th hole.

“It is a big relief now that I have won but I think I needed all those second -placed finishes to be able to appreciate this. There was no pressure even when I made my only bogey of the day on the 17th,” said Kruger.

“I knew victory was always a possibility from my first shot. Then I felt that victory was inevitable when I got to the 14th hole,” added Kruger who picked up the winner’s prize cheque worth 300,000 euros and moved to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit,

After a sputtering start where he opened with two bogeys, Prom recovered with a birdie on the third to turn in 37. He added two more birdies on the 12th and 17th holes to reach home in 71.

Leading scores after round 4:
274 - Jbe Kruger (RSA) 70-69-66-69.
276 - Jorge Campillo (ESP) 72-71-66-67, Marcel Siem (GER) 69-69-68-70.
277 - Marcus Fraser(AUS) 69-69-69-70, Jose Manuel Lara(ESP) 74-69-64-70.
278 - Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 71-67-70-70, Tano Goya (ARG) 74-70-64-70, Prom Meesawat (THA) 72-64-71-71, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA) 68-69-69-72.
279 - Kiradech Apbhibarnrat (THA) 68-69-74-68, Ricardo Santos (POR) 73-69-69-68, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 66-73-69-71, Rhys Davies (WAL) 70-69-69-71.

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