22nd September 2015 | Big Easy IGT Golf

Kruger in pursuit at GFG Academy Classic

Irene21-23SepDay1 (128)(PHOTO – Simon Kruger; credit CJ du Plooy)

TSHWANE, 22 September 2015 – Simon “Krappie” Kruger put himself firmly in contention to claim his maiden IGT Tour title after moving within striking distance of joint leaders Eddie Taylor and Lean Boezaart in the second round of GFG Academy Classic on Tuesday.

Kruger fired a flawless seven-under-par 65 to finish at 11 under 133, a stroke shy of the 36-hole target set by Taylor and Boezaart at Irene Country Club.

Taylor mixed two bogeys with nine birdies to match Kruger’s 65, while Boezaart collected a pair of eagles on his way to an eight under 64.

Kruger came agonisingly close to a podium finish twice in the last four weeks and is understandably eager to shake the bridesmaid tag.

The 23-year-old from Thabazimbi finished second in the TGSE Classic at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in middle August and tied for second a week later at the Gary Player School for Champions Academy Classic at Kyalami Country Club.

He knows he will have his job cut out to keep pace with Taylor and Boezaart, but he could also come under threat from three-time IGT Tour winners Drew Roelofsz and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

Roelofsz closed the gap on the frontrunners with a 68 and sits at 135, while overnight leader Bezuidenhout finished a further stroke adrift after carding a 71.

“Lean and Eddie both won on the IGT Tour before they graduated and Drew and Chris have been dominating the circuit this season,” Kruger said.

“I’m squashed right in there in the middle, so I guess the first order of business will be to completely block out their achievements and just play golf.”

Kruger notched a pair of birdies at the second and third holes and enjoyed another brace at the seventh and eighth to turn four under.

“I just executed my game plan really well,” the GFG Academy player said.

“My goal was to hit every fairway and green and to try and finish with a clean card. The putter behaved nicely from the get-go. I managed to birdie 10, 12 and 17 on the back nine without giving a shot away, as well.

“I think that was the most pleasing aspect of the day. Being in contention in three of my last four starts has definitely given me some confidence.

“If I can stay this calm and focussed tomorrow, I might pull it through.”

Taylor is also in need of some confidence after a rocky season so far.

“My season has been really up-and-down, so I took a break and returned to the IGT Tour to hunt a little confidence,” the Harrismith golfer said.

“I played quite nicely, but the putter was really hot. I was holing everything inside 10 feet, so if I got it close, I gave myself chances.”

Meanwhile recent LPGA Qualifying School First Stage winner Bertine Strauss followed an opening 71 with a 71 to break into the top 20.

The Koster player grabbed a share of 19th and is one stroke clear of Carrie Park and two ahead of Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini. Park returned a 73, while Dlamini signed for a 71.

Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Nicole Garcia closed with a 75 to miss the cut, set at 150.

SECOND ROUND SCORES

All competitors RSA unless otherwise stated; amateurs indicated as (ama)

132 – Eddie Taylor 67 65, Lean Boezaart 68 64

133 – Simon Kruger 68 65

135 – Bryandrew Roelofsz 68 67

136 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout 65 71

137 – Jonathan Waschefort 67 70, Toto Thimba Jnr 65 72, Ockert Strydom 72 65

138 – Conway Kunneke 69 69

139 – Louis Taylor (ama) 71 68

140 – Kyle Barker (ama) 69 71, David Lamprecht 72 68, Ruan Conradie (ama) 67 73

141 – Danie Pretorius 77 64, Jaco Mouton 72 69, Juan Swart 68 73

142 – Pieter Kruger 72 70, CJ Levey (ama) 72 70

143 – Duane Keun 71 72, Bertine Strauss 72 71, Divan Marais (ama) 69 74

144 – Carrie Park (ama) 71 73, Jason Diab 71 73, Matthew Vogel 69 75, Glen de Waal NAM 70 74, Dylan Docherty (ama) 73 71

145 – Gareth Atkinson (ama) 70 75, Tom Watson (ama) 74 71, Nobuhle Dlamini SWA 74 71, Keanan Aysen (ama) 71 74, Jacques de Villiers 73 72, Matthew Adams (ama) 72 73

146 – Keegan Steyn (ama) 71 75, Jandre Fullard (ama) 74 72, Lourens du Plessis 72 74, Jacques de Villiers (ama) 76 70, Callum Mowat 75 71, Siphiwe Siphayi 73 73

147 – Devan Payne (ama) 72 75, Ryan Wingrove (ama) 75 72, John McClean NIR 76 71, Christiaan Pretorius 72 75, JP Schmidt (ama) 71 76

148 – Louis Botha 75 73, Joubert van Eeden (ama) 71 77, Tjaart Van Wyk (ama) 78 70, Romano Saincic 77 71, Reinhardt Blaauw (ama) 72 76, Dwayne Coetzee 76 72

149 – Zillan du Pisani (ama) 74 75, Werner Lourens (ama) 74 75, Jan-Louis Nel (ama) 72 77, Stephan Erasmus (ama) 77 72

150 – Andrew Carlsson (ama) 76 74, Bryce Myburgh 75 75, Waldi Potgieter (ama) 75 75, Andre Pistorius 76 74, Sheldon Steyn ZIM 78 72, Norman Beggs 75 75, Chris Van Tonder (ama) 75 75, Nicholaus Frade (ama) 77 73

Missed the cut:-

151 – Conor Thornton IRE 77 74, Clinton Cheia 81 70, Brett Liddle 73 78, Stephan de Beer 77 74, Niel Theron (ama) 76 75

152 – Nicole Garcia 77 75, Dougie Meijer 73 79, Justin Levy NLD 75 77

153 – Matt Bright (ama) 75 78, Ramon Rigney 75 78, Richard Tsai (ama) 81 72, Cole Dodgen (ama) 76 77, Nico Du Buisson (ama) 74 79

154 – Ruan Korb (ama) 77 77, Ruan Huysamen NAM 75 79

155 – Hanko Bothma (ama) 81 74, Graham van der Merwe 77 78

156 – Michael Pienaar (ama) 83 73, Ruan Potgieter (ama) 75 81, Dylan de Beer 74 82, Carlos Arroyo (ama) 80 76, Zander Potgieter (ama) 75 81

157 – Amerigo Renieri (ama) 77 80

158 – Wesley Baptiste (ama) 76 82, Justin Godfrey 84 74, Juan de Bruin (ama) 77 81, Angelo Marques (ama) 78 80

159 – Chris Haefele 75 84

160 – Dean Schonegevel (ama) 82 78

161 – Gareth Akers (ama) 79 82

162 – John Palm (ama) 80 82

163 – Matthew Hands (ama) 82 81

165 – Glen Taute (ama) 83 82

168 – Jonty B Shelton (ama) 83 85

177 – Heinrich Venter (ama) 90 87

DSQ – Tung-nan Lin (ama) TWN 88 DSQ

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