Jbe’ looks for Asian boost in Singapore

Jbe’ Kruger slipped to sixth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last week, but he gets the chance to get back into the top five in this week’s Barclays Singapore Open.

The $6-million event, co-sanctioned by the European Tour, will be played on The Tanjong and The Serapong courses at the Sentosa Golf Club, and the big purse is an incentive in familiar conditions for Kruger for him to get amongst the money and head for the end of his season in Asia in a strong position.

Kruger is joined in the field by four other Sunshine Tour members who have Asian Tour membership, all of whom will be looking for a good result in the event to give them a boost in the Order of Merit race.

Brazilian Adilson Da Silva is in 34th spot, Tjaart van der Walt in 47th and Peter Karmis in 56th, while Keith Horne, who is also a member of the European Tour, is in 64th.

Of those, only Karmis has an Asian Tour victory to his name, and the rest, like Kruger, are all in pursuit of a maiden title on that circuit ahead of the big tournaments back on the Sunshine Tour which kick off next week at Leopard Creek and the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Kruger, in particular, has come close, with a brace of second-place finishes last year and five top-10s this year. And he battled well in last week’s World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, finishing in a share of 23rd behind winner Martin Kaymer.

Da Silva is the other Sunshine Tour member who has gone close in Asia this season, with three top-10s, the best of which was his share of second in the IPS Handa Singapore Classic.

Into the mix for the South African Challenge, besides Horne, come Louis Oosthuizen, Ernie Els, James Kingston, Thomas Aiken and Retief Goosen.

Els and Goosen will be looking for form ahead of next week’s Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Australia, while Kingston and Aiken will take the opportunity to get in shape for the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

And Oosthuizen was in sparkling form in the WGC-HSBC Champions last week, and, but for a putter that went cold on him in his final round after he equalled the course record in the second round, he could have won the tournament.

But it will be the South African Asian Tour members who will be most anxious to get good results – their eligibility for next year depends on it.

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