Jbe’ leads the way in Harare

2015 Golden Pilsner Zimbabwe Open: Day 1Jbe’ Kruger got his title defence off to a flying start at the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open on Thursday when he went around Royal Harare Golf Club in eight-under-par 64.

“If you had told me I would shoot 64 when I was on the range today I wouldn’t have believed you. This is a place of real miracles for me and you could see it today,” he said.

The European Tour winner overcame a bogey at the second hole and went on to make nine birdies during the course of the day, which left him two shots clear of Brazil’s Adilson da Silva.

Christiaan Basson set the pace at five-under-par early in the day after he cruised through his second loop in 31 blows.

“It’s only your own fault if you miss a putt here – the greens are great. If you can keep gaining a couple each day and moving in the right direction then you’ll be in with a shout. The total is never too low here and it comes down to playing four good rounds,” he said.

Kruger took little time in closing down the gap and made four consecutive birdies from the fifth to the eighth. He continued to score and stitched up his 64 with a final gain at the 18th.

“I know most of the people are rooting for me, which is pretty cool. You can actually sense it, which is amazing. I don’t have expectations, I’m just trying to pull off every shot that I can. The putts just went in today and when that happens you can really score,” he said.

Da Silva was hot on his heels after carding a flawless 66 at Royal Harare. The 12-time Sunshine Tour winner carded 33 on either side of the turn to get his campaign off to a flying start.

But in the driver’s seat was Kruger, who won last year on 18-under-par. The Bloemfontein local was eager to ride the wave for the next three days.

“On these greens specifically, because they are so good, I believe that I just have to hit the green and then I will make the putt. You don’t get that feeling very often and you have to go for it,” he said.

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