Jbe’ in elite field for CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia

Jbe’ Kruger’s form throughout the Asian Tour season has been rewarded as he tees it up in this week’s lucrative $6.1-million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia at the Mines Resort & Golf Club in Selangor.

The elite 48-man field will fight for the $1.3-million winner’s share in the event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the US PGA Tour, and Kruger has his place in that field by virtue of his six top-10 finishes on the Asian Tour this year.

While he missed the cut in last week’s CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi – only his second missed cut in 13 events – he is fifth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit after his stellar 2010 season saw him finish second three times.

His best finish this year was his third place in the ICTSI Philippine Open.

But he is going to have to turn his form around if he is to challenge for the big money: He has not broken par in his last five tournament rounds.

He slumped to an 81 in the final round of the Hero Indian Open after his second-round 74 and third-round 75 saw him slip from contention, and then he missed last week’s cut with a 79 and a 74.

But he has the ability to challenge in a field which includes major winners Angel Cabrera and Stewart Cink, as well as 2011 PGA Tour winners like Ben Crane, Brandt Snedeker, Jhonattan Vegas and fellow-South African Rory Sabbatini.

Crane is the defending champion, and he will feature with former world number one Vijay Singh of Fiji and alongside some of Asia’s leading golfers including Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and Jeev Milkha Singh of India, who have won a combined total of five Asian Tour Order of Merit titles.

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