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Golf | SA

Jbe Kruger © Gallo Images

Kruger takes Carnival lead



Jbe’ Kruger made most of moving day on Thursday when he shot three-under-par 69 to take his total to nine-under for the week, and claim a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Sun Carnival City Challenge at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.

While admitting to having small issues with his putting, Kruger made a respectable five birdies in the second round, but further gains were prevented by the shots he dropped on the par-three fifth and on 13.

And, while not the sharpest round by his standard, Kruger still managed to usurp overnight leader Hennie du Plessis from the summit on Thursday, a testimony to how much he enjoys this track.

“I felt it was a little bit more tougher,” said Kruger about the second round.

“I’m not fond of playing in the cold, so I made a few mistakes earlier on.”

Tough as it was, it did little to deter him from claiming top spot at the right time, but inspired him even more.

He added, “I think it’s the difficulty,” he said of what he liked about this course, “I like it being tough. It helps me with my concentration a bit.”

Hot on his heels in second spot is Titch Moore, who also shot a 69 which took him to eight-under for the week.

Despite making six birdies on the day, Moore lost momentum when he dropped on the par-five third and 16th holes, and again on 18, to settle for three-under.

On third spot sits Louis de Jager, Merrick Bremner, Hennie du Plessis and defending champion Ruan de Smidt. Both De Jager and Bremner shot 67s to total seven-under while De Smidt signed for four-under par 68.

“I’m happy I’m three back and in contention again,” De Smidt said.

“It feels good to be in the mix. I have been playing well over the last couple of weeks but not finishing off; driver the other week, putter the next, but this week all seems to be coming together. This course is unbelievable,” said De Smidt.

Du Plessis finished level-par to remain at seven-under par.

The biggest mover and lowest scorer on the day was Ockie Strydom, whose six-under-par 66 catapulted him to a share of seventh along with JJ Senekal, Neil Schietekat, Michael Palmer and Anthony Michael – all on six-under for the tournament.

Whether Kruger will make the most of playing ‘at home’ or De Smidt will defend his title come Friday, there’s yet more golf to be played on the last day here.



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