Kruger eagles his way into the Open
JBE Kruger, pictured, was one of four players to qualify for this year’s British Open during the Singapore Open which finished on Sunday.
The 51st playing of Singapore’s national Open, at Sentosa Golf Club, was the second event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale which will be played from July 20-23.
The Series offers 44 places in golf ’s most international Major championship at leading Tour events across the globe. Kruger, who tied for second on eight-under-par for the 36 holes, owes his place at Royal Birkdale to a wonderful eagle at the last after his second shot skimmed over the surrounding bunkers to land within 20 feet of the pin. Kruger sunk his final putt to propel him up the leaderboard.
The South African is a three-time winner on the Sunshine Tour and will make his second appearance at The Open after playing in 2012 at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
“I’m very excited, it has been a few long years for me since I last played in the Open,” said Kruger.
“I’ll definitely look back at that eagle. To finish birdie, par, eagle is very special.
“It was amazing (playing at The Open in 2012). It was probably one of my first days of links golf so I didn’t play great.
“I played well the first day and then on the second I just fell apart. I didn’t really know how to play links golf but I think this time it’s going to be different – I like it now.”
It was a day to remember for 50-year-old Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, who lifted the Singapore Open trophy after a closing round of 67 (-4) saw him finish at the top of the leaderboard on nine-under-par.
Rising teenage star Phachara Khongwatmai, also of Thailand and who is 17, and Korea’s Younghan Song – like Kruger they finished on eight under – were the other players to qualify for Birkdale.
The next event in The Open Qualifying Series is the Joburg Open in South Africa from February 23-26
Three players who finish in the top 10 and ties, and who are not otherwise exempt, will earn places at the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.