A two-month hiatus on the Asian Tour schedule ends with the Omega European Masters this week, and Jbe Kruger needs to turn the magic back on in order to stay on top of the Asian Order of Merit.
Having arrived at the picturesque Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club, which is set amidst a stunning backdrop with the Swiss Alps in full view, Kruger is hopeful that he can continue to cement his place at the top.
ÂThatÂs where I want to be,Â said Kruger pointing to the top of the Alps. ÂMy goal is still the same, which is to win the Order of Merit title.Â
Yet the last few months have been quiet Â there have been no tournament played on the Asian Tour since late June, and Kruger has been quiet on the European Tour, making just three cuts over the dry spell. He enjoyed a touch of success at the Vodacom Origins of Golf De Zalze tournament, shooting two rounds in the 60s on his way to a share of fourth.
The Bloemfontein local shot to the top of the Asian Tour rankings when he took his maiden victory at the Avantha Masters in India. After winning the Â1,800,000 tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours, Kruger leapt to 110th in the World Ranking and claimed the top spot on the Asian Tour. He has not been dethroned since.
But the year has been much quieter than expected for a man who looked to be at the top of his golf a short while ago. And while his competitors know who to chase, the 26-year-old is calm ahead of this weekÂs Â 2,000,000 tournament. ÂItÂs going to be a relaxing week, simply because the surroundings just make it to be so relaxed. IÂm not going to put too much pressure on myself and if I can do that, the results will speak for themselves,Â said Kruger.
With 15 events still scheduled for the remainder of the Asian Tour season, the Schoeman Park Golf Club representative will have to knuckle down to keep hold of his Asian Tour crown. And heÂll have to claim plenty of the US$30 million in total prize money that is available between now and December.
ÂEvery week is going to be very important from here especially this week since itÂs such a big tournament. IÂm definitely going to play more in Asia in the second half as compared to the first so itÂs going to be very hectic and IÂve to take one week at a time,Â added Kruger.