While Rory McIlroy dismantled the defences of the Emirates Golf Club in the opening round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, JbeÂ Kruger quietly compiled a one-under-par 71 to open his campaign on one of the worldÂs biggest stages.
McIlroy carded a seven-under-par 65 Â including a bogey on the seventh, or his 16th Â to take the early clubhouse lead, and Kruger kept his round in positive territory with four birdies and three bogeys.
Going out much later than McIlroy were the worldÂs top three players, and Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods had a tough act to follow.
Trailing McIlroy early on in the opening round was Sergio Garcia, the Spaniard putting on a bogey-free display with five birdies in his 67.
Behind KrugerÂs solid start, James Kingston opened up with a level-par 72, together with Hennie Otto.
Keith Horne battled his way to a three-over-par 75.
McIlroyÂs round included a run of five consecutive birdies around the turn after he started his day on the 10th: He picked up his third birdie of the day on 17, and then reeled off four more up to the third.
Things went quiet for him for a while until the bogey on seven, but a birdie on eight returned him to seven-under for the round.