Jbe won’t make same mistake

Jbe Kruger led round two of the Alfred Dunhill Championship last week, but slipped during the closing rounds and, having shot 65 for round one of the SA open on Thursday is determined not to make the same mistake.

“This is the SA Open, it’s the biggest event for you when you grow up. Just to take it one shot at a time is the most important thing,” he said.

His bogey-free start to the €1-million tournament and Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate included seven birdies and earned Kruger the morning lead, which he shared with Scotland’s Steven O’Hara.

Kruger started on the back stretch and opened the throttle ahead of the turn, carding a hattrick of birdies from the 16th to the 18th.

But the 25-year-old had already taken advantage of still morning conditions – he carded birdies at the 11th and 14th – and thus made the turn at five-under.

The Jack Nicklaus course, with its undulating greens, lends itself to target golf. “If you can hit it pin-high, you should be fine. If you go two yards left or right of the flag and it will break about 25 centimetres, so you have to stay on the right side of the slope,” said Kruger.

The 2nd, which is just 349 metres long, has proved to be a scoring hole and Kruger added a further birdie to his count there.

He secured pars until the 7th, where he made the final birdie of his round and took the lead at seven-under.

O’Hara finished tied fourth at the Africa Open in January and was on form on Thursday – he underlined his share of the lead with an eagle at the 8th.

The Scotsman enjoyed the conditions, making a lone bogey at the 4th. “I hit a lot of great shots. I had it inside 10 feet pretty much every hole and it felt like I could have made more birdies. It’s all about accuracy with your second shot,” he said.

Kruger was determined not to get ahead of himself in heading into the following rounds. “I was 13-under-par through two rounds last week, and I might need two 65’s, but I’m just going to take it one shot at a time,” he said.

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