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.
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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