Hong Kong Open: Jbe Kruger pays Nelson Mandela tribute when taking Fanling lead
Last Updated: 06/12/13 10:33am
Jbe Kruger of South Africa at the Hong Kong Open
Jbe Kruger produced a flying back nine at Fanling to grab a one-shot lead at the midway point of the Hong Kong Open.
The South African paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela after he came home in just 30 shots to close on seven-under after two rounds for a one-shot lead.
After the death of Mandela it was perhaps apt that a South African should take the lead and Kruger's four-under round of 66 made sure it was him on top of the leaderboard.
Second round leaderboard:
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-7 J Kruger (Rsa)
-6 S Manley
-5 A Cejka (Ger)
-5 W Ormsby (Aus)
-5 S Kapur (Ind)
The 27-year-old was two-over for his round at the turn as he finished the nine holes in 36, but six birdies in seven holes helped fire him up the leaderboard to lead by a shot over Welshman Stuart Manley.
"I played well, I probably swung it the best I've swung it in a long time," said Kruger. "I'm excited and I'm playing better for a change."
Manley recorded a second successive 67, with six birdies and three bogeys, to close on six under and ensure he plays with the leader in the third round.
Three men sit just one shot further back with Wade Ormsby, Shiv Kapur and Alex Cejka all on five under after rounds of 68, 66 and 67 respectively.
"Overall I'm pleased," said Cejka, who is playing on a sponsor's invite and chasing a first title for 11 years. "I hit much better shots. It's a good feeling. I've had a couple of months off now so it's nice to come back and grind it out.
"I got a late call to this tournament so I wish I had practised a bit more at home, but I guess it's working what I'm doing right now.
"It's a long trip but so far it's worth it. I've got to do what I've been doing the last two days and if I have two more good rounds I'll take it."
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez came flying back into contention for a fourth Hong Kong victory as he stormed to a six-under mark after a level-par first round 70.
However, three bogeys in his last six holes saw the Spaniard drop back to three-under for the tournament although he is just four shots back and still handily placed.