Pieter Kruger sank a 15-footer for birdie on the 18th on Tuesday to pull away to a two-stroke victory in the Big Easy Tour tournament at Kempton Park Golf Club.
His 36-hole total of 13-under-par 131 gave him the win over Etienne Bond and amateur Kyle McClatchie, after Bond had raced to a closing 64 and McClatchie came close with his four-under-par 68.
“The win is really important for me as I build towards playing in the Sunshine Tour events that are coming up,” said Kruger. “And it felt good to get it done even with my putting not working as well for me as it was in the first round.”
He grabbed the initiative early on in the round with a birdie on the third, and then he book-ended a bogey on seven with birdies on six and eight to turn in two-under. Birdies on 13 and 16 seemed to have got the job done for him, but he dropped a second shot on the 17th before he came back with that final birdie to secure the win.
Besides the putt on 18, perhaps the shot which won him the tournament was the short-iron in to the 16th which he hit to six inches. “I hit a couple stiff today, and I was unable to sink them,” said Kruger. “But that final birdie made up for a lot of the troubles I had putting during the round.
“The win gives me a lot of confidence going into Thursday’s tournament at Modderfontein. It’s a totally different kind of course, but my iron-play has been good so I hope that works again,” he added.
Mark Murless, last week’s winner from Irene Country Club, made bogey on the last to slip to 10-under and a share of fourth with Steven Ferreira, which Jacquin Hess carded a superb 65 in the last round to share sixth with Jaco Mouton.
131 – Pieter Kruger (RSA) 63 68
133 – Etienne Bond (RSA) 69 64, Kyle McClatchie (AMA) (RSA) 65 68
134 – Mark Murless (RSA) 68 66, Steven Ferreira (RSA) 66 68
135 – Jacquin Hess (RSA) 70 65, Jaco Mouton (RSA) 67 68
136 – Cameron Moralee (AMA) (RSA) 70 66