Pumped-up Kruger puts Tiger Woods in the shade

Pumped-up Kruger puts Tiger Woods in the shade

KUALA LUMPUR - Agence France-Presse
Pumped-up Kruger puts Tiger Woods in the shade

Jbe Kruger of South Africa gestures during the second round of the $6.1 million CIMB Classic tournament. AFP photo

South Africa’s Jbe Kruger said he wanted to play with Tiger Woods every day after upstaging the American legend with a “dream” round at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia on Oct. 26.

Kruger, ignoring big galleries, soaring temperatures and the intimidating presence of the 14-time Major winner, put together a brilliant 64 at the par-71 Mines Resort & Golf Club, overshadowing Woods’s 67.

“I’m always pumped up,” insisted the small, slight Kruger, 26, who strode the course with vigorous intent and now lies second, two shots off leader Robert Garrigus.

“Just to shoot anything, level par, anything, was a dream. It was pretty cool,” he added.
 “I think playing with him definitely made me concentrate a bit harder. That is one thing I’ve been lacking the last couple of months. So I think I want to play with him every day.”

Kruger, from Bloemfontein, has won three tournaments so far in his career -- compared with Woods’s 74, the second biggest haul in history.

 He said his round “definitely” went better than he could have dreamed, and had already done wonders for his self-belief.

“You’ve proven yourself probably against the best golfer that’s alive at the moment. And to have played with him is pretty cool,” he said.

Kruger shot 66 on the first day, despite damaging his eight-iron and being unable to use it for much of his round -- a handicap he blamed for a double bogey on the last hole.

“I got it fixed, and I actually used it once,” he said of the club. “Yesterday I probably would have used it six times after I bent it. So you know, Murphy’s Law.”

And he said he hoped to continue his hot form into the weekend at the $6.1 million event, which is co-sanctioned by the U.S. PGA and the Asian Tour.

“I think I’ll probably just try to do the same. I’ve been playing well. I can’t really play much better than I am at the moment,” Kruger said. “The key is to hit the fairways, hit the greens, and take it from there.”