Jbe’ Kruger joined a share of 10th place at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with a Thursday round of 68 at Kingsbarns in Scotland.
The Bloemfontein local hasn’t rediscovered the heights of his 2012 Avantha Masters victory, but on Thursday it was all working and he went four under par at the coast.
Alex Noren led the tournament with an eight-under-par romp at Carnoustie, setting a new course record and putting on a show for his pro-am partner Hugh Grant.
‘It was tough conditions but probably one of the best rounds I’ve played, so I’m very happy right now,’ said Noren.
This week’s $5-million tournament takes place at three Open Championship venues – Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and The Old Course at St. Andrews. One round is played on each, followed by a final round at St. Andrews. It’s a links bonanza, which suits the South Africans well.
‘The course, all three courses, are in probably the best shape I’ve ever seen them. The greens are running great,’ Noren summarized.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 6, 2016
Louis Oosthuizen shot a round of 71 at Carnoustie to start his week, while Branden Grace shot 73 at the same layout. Both have won on Scottish links courses, Grace two years ago in this event.
Ulrich van den Berg, Rhys West, and Richard Sterne all shot 69 to share 14th place, followed by Jean Hugo and Jaco Ahlers in a share of 26th on two under par.
Kruger, meanwhile, is rediscovering the form that earned him a European Tour victory. He’s right on track after the first round.