Jbe Kruger wins Avantha Masters

Jbe Kruger of South Africa won the Avantha Masters at DLF G&CC in New Delhi by two shots from Spain’s Jorge Campillo and Marcel Siem of Germany.

Jbe Kruger wins Avantha Masters (Getty Images)

Jbe Kruger of South Africa won the Avantha Masters at DLF G&CC in New Delhi by two shots from Spain's Jorge Campillo and Marcel Siem of Germany.

Kruger began the final round with a one-stroke lead but was joined at the top of the leaderboard early on in Sunday's play by Jose Manuel Lara of Spain who posted birdies at the 1st, 3rd and 5th holes.

The South African struck back with a birdie at the 8th and he went into the back-nine one shot clear again. By the time he reached the 17th, the 25-year-old was three in front and looked to be coasting to victory.

But he failed to get up-and-down from through the 17th green and dropped a shot. Then, on the home hole, Kruger hit a wayward drive that struck a camera, his second shot went left into trees and he was left with a difficult third shot over the water. But he kept his cool and fired that approach in to within 10 feet of the pin. Two putts later and a first European Tour victory was his.

"I'm very relieved to win for the first time," he said. "I think I needed all those second-placed finishes to be able to appreciate it. There was no pressure even when I made my only bogey of the day on the 17th."

Lara's challenge faded at the end of his round as he found the water on the closing hole. He dropped back into a tie for fourth with Marcus Fraser, one behind Marcel Siem and Jorge Campillo who tied for second.

Scotland's Peter Whiteford had been one off the lead after three rounds but TV viewers spotted his ball moving on the fairway after he had addressed it on the 18th hole on Saturday. European Tour rules chief John Paramor agreed and, as the Scot had already signed his card, he was disqualified.

Avantha Masters DLF G&CC, New Delhi, India Feb 16-19, purse €1,785,920 par 72

1   Jbe Kruger (RSA)      70   69   66   69   274   €300,000 T2   Jorge Campillo (Esp)   72   71   66   67   276   €156,340 T2   Marcel Siem (Ger)   69   69   68   70   276   €156,340 T4   Marcus Fraser (Aus)   69   69   69   70   277   €83,160 T4   Jose Manuel Lara (Esp)   74   69   64   70   277   €83,160 T6   Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 68 69   69   72   278   €50,580 T6   Tano Goya (Arg)      74   70   64   70   278   €50,580 T6   Prom Meesawat (Tha)   72   64   71   71   278   €50,580 T6   Thorbjorn Olesen (Den)   71   67   70   70   278   €50,580

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

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Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?