Kruger looking to regain grip on season

It’s the perfect place for Jbe’ Kruger to get his grip back on the year, as he plays in the 48-man field in the CIMB Classic at the Mines Resort and Golf Club in Selangor, Malaysia.

With no cut in store for poor performers after two rounds, Kruger can be sure of a certain pay-out in the $6.1-million event and he can even have the time to implement recent tweaks to his grip through four rounds of tournament play.

“I have been playing with Gripmaster for a year now and they couldn’t make the grips thin enough for me, so they made me a different kind of grip,” said Kruger. “For the first couple of months, it worked, but then the last couple of months it pulled me down a little. It’s a tiny little thing, but it makes the world of difference to me.”

Kruger, who had his maiden victory outside Southern Africa when he won the Avantha Masters in India, is currently in third spot on the Asian Tour Order of Merit behind Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant and Australian Marcus Fraser.

“I’ve won, but since then I’ve disappeared a little. I haven’t played that well the last part of the year, but I’m fighting back and I’m feeling probably better than ever for the rest of this year,” he said. “There were a few things holding me back, but my coach and I worked on them a bit and things are starting to improve.”

That February victory also gained Kruger status on the European Tour, but a succession of missed cuts was his fate after that – nine on the European Tour as he tried to cement his position on the Race to Dubai, and two of those were in events co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour.

Now he has just short of $100,000 to make up on Wiratchant at the top of the Order of Merit, and $30,000 to overhaul Fraser.

And if his grip meets his requirements, a decent finish – one above the pair ahead of him and the players closest to him on the Asian Tour Order of Merit – can get him back on top of the list again.

Perhaps as importantly for him, a decent showing against the likes of Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner and Nick Watney will give him the confidence to finish the season on a high and feature well in the Sunshine Tour’s summer events.

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