SOUTH AFRICAN golfer Jbe Kruger carved out two birdies in his three holes, to come from behind and become the first golfer to win the revived Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open twice in a thrilling final day in front of a huge crowd at Royal Harare Golf Club yesterday.
Kruger, who won this tournament on its return on the Sunshine Tour schedule in 2010, trailed the overnight leader by five shots, but saved his best for last as he carded a six-under 66 for a 72-hole total of 18 under-par 270.
The 27-year-old golfer, who now has four professional wins in his career, finished a shot clear of his compatriot Jacques Blaauw.
Blaauw, who finished on 17 under-par 271 needed a birdie on the final hole to force a playoff, but was left disappointed as his putt went just left of the cup from close range.
Overnight leader Haydn Porteous settled for third position on 16 under-par 272 while Jaco Ahlers was a shot back on 15 under-par.
Kruger, who walked away with the handsome R285 300 winner’s cheque was over the moon as he joined illustrious names like Nick Price and Mark McNulty who have won the Zimbabwe Open twice.
“It feels am amazing. I’ve had a bad season last year so it makes it makes it all worthwhile. I’ve won before so I knew I had to take its shot as it comes and make birdies on the last couple of holes,” said Kruger before adding that this year’s competition was tougher than the one he won in 2010.
“I think this one was tougher because I’ve been playing a little bit better so my expectations were a bit higher so this one was a bit tougher to close out.”
Tongo Charamba was the highest placed local player after a closing three under-par 69 saw him finish in a five-way tie for 10th position on nine-under par 279.
US-based top amateur golfer Scott Vincent, the only amateur to make the cut showed why he is being tipped to be a future star after he finished in a tie for 24th position on six under-par 282.