Kruger and Otto Share Lead

Fri 13 Apr 2012

Kruger and Otto Share Lead

Kuala Lumpur, April 13: There was no Friday the 13th jitters for Jbe Kruger of South Africa as he charged into a share of the second round clubhouse lead at the weather-hit Maybank Malaysian Open with a solid seven-under-par 65 on Friday.


Kruger, the current Asian Tour’s Order of Merit leader, took full advantage of ideal conditions in the morning as he fired eight birdies against one bogey to tie countryman Hennie Otto, who fired a brilliant 64, on nine-under-par 135 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

American Rookie David Lipsky, who won the HANDA FALDO Cambodian Classic last month and finished second at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic on Sunday, extended his rich vein of form with a 67 pushing him to equal fourth place alongside world number seven Martin Kaymer of Germany (67) in the US$2.5 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Masters Tournament runner-up Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, lying on eight-under for the championship through 12 holes, is amongst the 75 players who will return on Saturday morning (7.45am) to complete their rounds after an afternoon thunderstorm disrupted play. The third round is expected to begin at 11.30am.

Jyoti Randhawa, India’s first Asian number one in 2002, stayed in the title hunt with a battling 72 leaving him three shots off the pace.


The pint-sized Kruger, who took 27 putts in his round, is hoping to strike his irons hot during the weekend as he chases a second Asian Tour victory following his maiden success at the Avantha Masters in India in February.

“I’ve been working on a lot of things and it seems to be coming together which is always a good sign. I just worked a bit on my swing which is not really a 100% yet. My ball striking used to be my strength and now it is my weakness,” said Kruger.

He was delighted to jointly lead the elite field which includes his more illustrious countrymen Oosthuizen and 2011 Masters Tournament champion Charl Schwartzel, who lies on five under through 12 holes which he was three over par for the round.

“The mind-set will be the same. I’m going to hit it one shot at a time. I won’t really call it giving as Charl and Louis a run for their money because I just finished awesomely. It is just fun to be in contention, it doesn’t matter if it is with Charl or Louis,” smiled Kruger.

Otto, a two-time European Tour champion, did not enjoy the benefit of a practice round but was rewarded with a flawless card highlighted by eight birdies. “I played the course blind yesterday because I was first reserve for the pro-am and was expecting to get into that and use it as my practice round. But it didn’t happen. I walked the course on Wednesday so had an idea but it is obviously a lot different when you come to play it,” said the 35-year-old.

It has been a wild ride for Lipsky, who first topped the Qualifying School in January before breaking out for his maiden professional win in Cambodia. He continued his Asian sojourn with a stunning eagle from 75 yards on the third hole and four other birdies.

“You don’t always get the opportunity to play with these players. I played with Branden Grace and Simon Dyson, both are premier players on the European Tour. It is great to also be competing against Oosthuizen and Schwartzel. It is everything I dreamt of as a little kid … to be competing against the best in the world. I’m loving this opportunity,” said Lipsky.

Kaymer, the highest ranked player in the field, charged into contention with six birdies on the card. “I played really well and gave myself a lot of birdie chances. I had a good eagle chance on three and felt like a hit a lot of good putts but maybe just over-read the greens. I feel good about the game and if I can make a few more putts I feel I can really get into the tournament,” said the German, winner of the 2010 PGA Championship.

Randhawa failed to reproduce Thursday’s fireworks as he settled for a battling 72, which included two birdies against as many bogeys. The Indian, an eight-time winner but not since 2009, conceded he got ahead of himself in his bid to end his title drought.

“I was a little anxious, trying to make putts, trying to hit shots. Wasn’t committed and wasn’t focused to what I needed to do and play. I was more focused on the result and scoring. I had a few opportunities and had a few misses. Probably I was over anxious trying to make a score,” he said.

“The swing was a bit patchy. Best thing is that I know what I need to do. But I need to do it under pressure. I need to stay behind the ball. I have a tendency to move ahead of the ball. I need to be more centred and balanced. It’s a very old habit and I guess old habits die hard,” added Randhawa.

Scores after round 2 of the Maybank Malaysian Open 2012 being played at the par 72, 6,967 Yards Kuala Lumpur GcC course (a- denotes amateur):

135 - Hennie OTTO (RSA) 71-64, Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 70-65.

137 - David LIPSKY (USA) 70-67, Martin KAYMER (GER) 70-67.

138 - Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 66-72, Danny WILLETT (ENG) 69-69.

139 - Simon DYSON (ENG) 69-70, Ricardo GONZALEZ (ARG) 68-71.

140 - Tom LEWIS (ENG) 70-70, LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 72-68, Nicolas COLSAERTS (BEL) 72-68, Victor DUBUISSON (FRA) 72-68.

141 - Stephen LEWTON (ENG) 70-71, Julien QUESNE (FRA) 69-72, Scott HEND (AUS) 70-71, Branden GRACE (RSA) 69-72, Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 70-71, Ignacio GARRIDO (ESP) 71-70.

142 - Matteo MANASSERO (ITA) 70-72, Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) 73-69, Peter KARMIS (RSA) 72-70, Gaurav GHEI (IND) 68-74.

About Maybank

The Maybank Group is Malaysia’s regional financial services leader with an international network of over 2,200 offices in 17 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and the United States of America.


The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes commercial banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 45,000 employees serving 22 million customers worldwide.


About the Malaysian Golf Association

Founded in 1929, the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) as the sole governing body of golf in Malaysia has been entrusted to promote the game while preserving its traditions and integrity.


It’s a non-government organization that runs by volunteers who are passionate about the game with the help of a team of management staff.


The Association’s portfolios have increased over the years ranging from conducting 14 state amateur opens, national amateur open, national amateur close, Malaysian Open to processing handicaps through its National Handicap System to promoting grassroot programs and training of the athletes to represent Malaysia in the international events.


We take our responsibilities seriously in promoting the game in Malaysia while simultaneously upholding the Rules of Golf as prescribed by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A).


About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Royal Selangor (Official Trophy Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Smartphone and Tablet) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.


About The European Tour

The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour's innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future.

The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2012, will feature a minimum of 46 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday.

The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.


About GlobalOne

GlobalOne is an executive lifestyle sports marketing consultancy. We serve an expanding stable of prestigious Asia-Pacific clients through a network offices in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Indonesia. We have in the past created partnerships in golf, motor racing, sailing, tennis, rugby, skiing, athletics, basketball, cycling and skiing. Today, GlobalOne’s primary focus and area of sports rights ownership is professional golf.


GlobalOne currently stages two highly successful tournaments in Asia – the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour and the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open. Over the past six years, GlobalOne has promoted a total of 21 events, all co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours, with total prize money in excess of US$20 million. GlobalOne has also staged the first World Cup of Golf in Asia, at China’s Mission Hills in 1995, and a second World Cup of Golf event in Kuala Lumpur in 1999.


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