Jbe back at the top of Africa

Jbe Kruger’s tied-ninth finish at the Joburg Open a week ago signaled his return to form. He’ll build from there at the Africa Open, looking to continue his rise from a maiden victory in Europe last year.

He failed to make the cut at East London Golf Club last year, but a second-round 67 proved that it was the mindset, not the nerves. A year later he’s got exemption in Europe but his goals are the same.

“You still have to shoot low scores and hit good shots. I just hit every shot as good as I possibly can and the rest will take care of itself,” he said.

Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen will not be attendance, and that opens the door for Kruger. While the coastal winds are a far cry from the weather he grew up with in Bloemfontein, the …-year-old knows what it takes to deal with blustery conditions.

“I love playing in the wind,” said Kruger. “I like East London Golf Course, especially when the wind is blowing, because it makes for imaginative shots. This course has no defense if the wind doesn’t blow, so we’re all praying for wind!

“I like the course. It’s not very long, and if the wind blows about a club or two then it definitely suits me. It’s tight enough that there’s risk and reward, so I really enjoy it.”

No golfer will predict a victory, even less so before the event has started, but Kruger was confident ahead of this week’s €1-million tournament.

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