Eyes on Open prize for Kruger

Playing in the Open Championship is a dream of almost every golfer around the world, and for Jbe’ Kruger and many of the other young Sunshine Tour professionals, that could become a reality this week.

The East Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club will once again be in use on Wednesday and Thursday as 39 professionals from South Africa and Europe play 36 holes with the top three finishers gaining entries into the 2011 Open Championship held at Royal St George’s later this year.

This will be Kruger’s second attempt at the Africa leg of the International Final Qualifier – he finished tied 11th last year when the field was much bigger – and after his second win on the Sunshine Tour at last year’s Zimbabwe Open, a successful season on the Asian Tour, and a fourth place finish in the final Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, he is itching to add that next feather to his cap.

“Playing in the Open Championship would mean a lot to me,” he said. “I have played Royal St George’s before as an amateur so to get into that as my first Open would mean a lot.”

And with this being the best possibility of a first major entry for Kruger, there is even more incentive for him to shoot as low as possible.

“I am very much looking forward to it. Because I have played there, it’s just more of an incentive to actually make it,” he said.

Branden Grace shared Kruger’s thoughts, even though he has already played in a major.

“I played in the Open two years ago at Turnberry and it is one of those tournaments I will never forget,” he said. “It was my first major and I managed to make the cut and had a good week, so it is just an unbelievable week, so for anybody to play there is unbelievable, so hoping for all the best.”

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