Kruger eyes first European Tour win

South African Jbe Kruger carded a six-under-par 66 at the Avantha Masters today to put himself in position for a maiden European Tour title.

South African Jbe Kruger carded a six-under-par 66 at the Avantha Masters today to put himself in position for a maiden European Tour title.

He will have a host of players snapping at his heels in tomorrow's final round in New Delhi, however.

The 25-year-old former amateur star picked up two birdies and two eagles in a bogey-free third round at DLF Golf and Country Club to earn a slender advantage at the head of a congested leaderboard on 11 under par.

Kruger's first eagle came courtesy of a 20-foot putt at the par-five sixth, with the second arriving when he holed a putt from off the green for a two at the driveable 15th.

Scotland's Peter Whiteford, the halfway leader, was a shot off the pace after a level-par 72, and was joined by Germany's Marcel Siem (68) and Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (69).

While Kruger enjoyed smooth progress over a flawless round, Siem got off to a nightmare start and had to dig deep to overcome double bogeys on each of the first two holes. Whiteford also double-bogeyed six and 17, but remained in contention thanks to his work over the first two rounds.

Spain's Jose Manuel Lara catapulted himself into contention with an eight-under 64 to share fifth spot, two strokes off the pace, along with Ireland's Paul McGinley (68), Scotland's Marc Warren (68), Thailand's Prom Meesawat (71), Italy's Andrea Pavan (67) and Australia's Marcus Fraser.

With a total of 14 players within three shots of Kruger, the leader knows he still has it all to do to get over the line tomorrow.

"I'm going to try to play how I played today," he told www.europeantour.com. "If it's meant to be my week, it'll be mine, so I don't want to think too far ahead yet.

"The putts need to go in and I think that's what defines the winner. I've been reading the greens a little better as I've been struggling with it during the week.

"My putting has been good and if I can see the line, I'm confident my putts will go in. I'm improving and I'm a lot more experienced, and I think that will give me the edge."

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