Jbe jumps to the front in India

There must be plenty of excitement for Jbe Kruger, who shot a third-round 66 at DLF Golf and Country Club to lead the Avantha Masters by one stroke.

It was a clinical round by the 25-year-old, who carded a single birdie and single eagle on either side of the turn for a very clean 66 and a one-stroke lead over Marciel Siem, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet and Peter Whiteford.

“I’m going to try to play like how I played today. If it’s meant to be my week, it’ll be mine, so I don’t want to think too far yet. The putts need to go in and I think that’s what defines the winner,” said Kruger.

He enjoyed a solid season on the Asian Tour last year and finished fourth on the Order of Merit. The confidence he built carried through to a stint at home, which he started with a share of ninth at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. He went on to tie for 25th at the SA Open Championship and then took a share of ninth at the Joburg Open and continued to look good, but was just shy of really contending for the win.

It was not so at the Indian tournament – on the first day Kruger birdied 17 and eagled 18 to finish at two-under. During the second day he carded two birdies on either side of the turn and made his way round in 69 strokes for a move to five-under.

By the third round Kruger had learnt how to eliminate mistakes around the 6542-metre course, and made no drops. He birdied the fourth, but an eagle at the par-five sixth boosted him to the top of the leaderboard ahead of the turn. He was quiet until the par-four 15th, where he made a superb two and moved to 10-under for the tournament. A birdie at the 18th clinched a one-stroke lead for the Bloemfontein local.

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