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Hong Kong Open. Jbe Kruger Cruising At The Top.

Jbe Kruger, from South Africa, is cruising along at the top of the leaderboard at  the Hong Kong Open in China.

Jbe Kruger  (Getty Images)

Jbe Kruger / Getty Images

Jbe required only 30 shots to complete the back nine and in so doing grabbed the halfway lead at the Hong Kong Open, with his -4 under par round and -7 under par total. He said of the days events;

“Our country lost a real-life hero. I played well, I probably swung it the best I’ve swung it in a long time. I’m excited and I’m playing better for a change. It’s fun to play relaxed golf for a change and see what unfolds.”

Qualifying School graduate Stuart Manley is in second place, shooting consecutive rounds of -3 under par, for a respectable  -6 under par total. He was on course for a share of the lead until he hit his approach into the water at the tenth, his last hole, and signed for a bogey;

“It’s really enjoyable, I started a bit scrappily but after the first few holes I played lovely. It’s 36 holes, there’s a lot of golf to go and a lot of good players around me so I’ll have to play well this weekend.”

Alex Cejka, Shiv Kapur and Wade Ormsby are tied for third place on -5 under par, with defending champion Miguel Angel Jiménez just outside the top ten.

Miguel said the greens were tricky and his magical round ground to a halt;

“I played very well with birdies on the 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th and a birdie on number three, but then the magic stopped. The greens are very fast, you have to take care. I three-putted the fifth, but I am happy, I don’t feel like I putted badly but it happens. I thought about a low score after the first few holes, but you have to respect this golf course. It’s not very long but you have to get the ball in place every single time and you have to be very careful with the greens because they are firm and fast.”

South African Open. Morten Ørum Madsen, Maiden Victory.

Morten Ørum Madsen, from Denmark won his maiden European Tour victory at the South African Open at Glendower Golf Course.

South African Open Champion Morten Orum Madsen   (Getty Images)

Morten Ørum Madsen / Getty Images

Morten shot a final -5 under par 67, for his maiden Tour victory, with a total tournament score of -19 under par, winning by two shots. He was playing alongside overnight leader and pre-tournament favourite Charl Schwartzel, who let slip a three shot lead to finish tied in fourth place, with Italy’s Marco Crespi on -16 under par.

Morten really enjoyed his amazing day;

 “It’s been an amazing day. I don’t really know right now how I feel. It’s kind of clichéd to say it hasn’t really sunk in, but it really hasn’t. I’m just over the moon. I’m so happy. I mean coming down here, I expected to play well but I didn’t expect to stand here, right now, that’s for sure. I love the golf course. It’s pretty similar to my home course. It’s tree lined and has really good greens. I definitely really enjoyed it. To have the SA Open as my first victory on the European Tour is extremely special if you look down the list of names that have won this tournament in the past, there are major champions and really great champions all around, so it’s an honour.”

He spoke about playing alongside Charl;

“I definitely felt like I could still win, but he looked like he was going to go off and I was just trying to hang on and maybe stay in two or three shots and give myself a chance. I had a great back nine but unfortunately for him he struggled. On a couple of holes he had some bad breaks. Luckily for me I was there to capitalise and I did with some nice birdies down the stretch.”

South Africans Jbe Kruger and Hennie Otto tied for second place at -17 under par. Hennie actually led by four shots with four holes to play following three straight birdies on 12,13 and 14. He was chasing his second victory in three years in this tournament, but strangely then collapsed with bogey on  the 15th and double bogey on the 16th to slip right out of contention.

Charl  deposited his tee shot on the 199-yard par-three sixth hole into the water, and then his second spun back so sharply, it too nearly ended up in the water, he followed that sequence with a three-putt, just to compound his problems. He took another six on the 10th hole and there was no way back from there.

Ballantine’s Championship, More Weather Delay’s.

Lightning on the  Blackstone Golf Course in South Korea has caused further delays during the second round at the Ballantine’s Championship. Round 2 is due to be completed on Saturday morning.

Ballantine's Championship - Day 2 - Arnond Vongvanij (-7)

Arnond Vongvanij / European Tour

 Wade Ormsby and Arnond Vongvanij are the current leaders in the clubhouse on -7 under par for their completed rounds. Wade had a -5 under par effort and -3 under par for Arnond.

Alexander Noren, James Morrison and Jbe Kruger are tied in third position, they are following very close behind on -6 under par. James Morrison had a marvelous -6 under par 66 round to put him in contention.

In a senior moment yesterday I wrongly stated that there were no Americans in this Tournament, due to the political situation between the USA and North Korea. I am grateful to Rodd D Starkey to point out that there are indeed Americans contesting here, despite the absence of the two big names Zach Johnson and Dustin Johnson, who decided not to travel. You can catch up with Ross and his blog here;  http://letstalkgolf.co.uk/

Of the Americans who are in South Korea, the best placed player is Berry Henson, a -2 under par round today has him tied in eighth place. Jason Knutzon is tied in 31st spot at -2 under par, with Peter Uihlein currently at +1 over par, tied in 66th place. Peter has four holes left tomorrow in his second round to find a birdie and make the cut, which is at par at the moment. Missing the cut will be American Johnathan Moore, who is sadly at +12 over par.

Maybank Malaysian Open, completion of 2nd round

The lightening storm suspended  Maybank Malaysian Open second round has been completed, with the top three on the leaderboard all South Africans. Louis Oosthuizen leads the way at -10 under par after a -4 second round, with Jbe Kruger and Hennie Otto just one shot back at -9 under par. Joining them at that score was Scotlands Stephen Gallagher who had a -4 under par round of 68. Biggest surprise was the +3 over par round of 75 from Charl Schwartzel, one of the leaders from the first round.

Louis Oosthuizen  (Getty Images)

Louis Oosthuizen (Getty Images)

Maybank Maylasian Open, 2nd round play suspended

Play was suspended at the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country club, due to a lightening storm. Before the storm some players had finished their rounds including Hennie Otto and Jbe Kruger who currently sit atop the leaderboard on -9 under par. Hennie with an -8 under par 64 and Jbe had a -7 under round of 65.

Kruger and Otto shine before the stormJbe Kruger (Getty Images)

Jbe Kruger spoke about the strong South African presence at the Maybank Malaysian Open;

“I think all of us South Africans are coming into this tournament with a little bit of form coming back. I spoke to Charl and  he said he was struggling in the last couple of weeks. I was struggling as well so I guess we are just coming back into form. I have been playing well recently and we are taking small steps and gradually getting there. Most of the work that I have been doing is really on the mental side as opposed to the technical side of things and I am sticking with and trying to build on that momentum.”

We will see how things unfold when play restarts tomorrow, the guys who had finished their rounds will have plenty of time to relax and recuperate before they tee it up again. The others will have to finish round two and then go straight into round three.

Jbe Kruger Wins Avantha Masters in New Delhi

Jbe Kruger won his first tour event at the Avantha Masters tournament in New Delhi. This is Jbe’s 38th event and with this win moves to around 110th in the Official World Ranking from 159th. This  European Tour International Schedule victory gives him  €341,485  in The Race to Dubai.

Also he is the second first-time winner of the 2012 European Tour season, following Branden Grace (Joburg Open). This victory continues South Africa’s recent run of success on The European Tour, they have won six of the last ten European Tour events.Jbe also gains a European Tour exemption until the end of the 2014 season.

Jbe Kruger  (Getty Images) Jbe Kruger (Getty Images)

 

Jbe Kruger Heads Tightly Packed Leaderboard in New Delhi

Jbe Kruger will take a one shot lead into the final round of the Avantha Masters at the DLF Golf & Country Club in New Delhi. The top 15 on the board are separated by only 3 shots going into the last round. One shot behind Kruger is Peter Whiteford, who is still contending for his maiden victory. Jbe had two eagles and two birdies in a round of 66 which left him 11 under par for the tournament, thanks mainly to a bogey free third round. He will need more of the same tomorrow to keep the tightly packed bunch behind him and lift the trophy himself.

Jbe Kruger  (Getty Images) Jbe Kruger (Getty Images

 

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