With many of the tour’s top players taking the week off or playing in the U.S., Kruger entered as one of the top picks on 25/1 odds. The 25-year-old proved his mettle with a Saturday 66, staking him to the lead headed into the final round. Kruger had a three-shot edge through 16 holes, then bogeyed 17 and looked destined for trouble at the 18th.
He managed par on the closer, though, finishing with 14-under par and two shots clear of Spain’s Jorge Campillo (an 80/1 shot to win) and Germany’s Marcel Siem (25/1).
“I’m very relieved to win for the first time,” Kruger said. “If you want to win you need to make putts on the final day, and I did that today.” Kruger earned a €300,000 prize for his efforts.
Australia’s Marcus Fraser (25/1) and Spain’s Jose Manuel Lara (80/1) tied fourth on -11. Pre-tournament favorites Joost Luiten and Jamie Donaldson – both listed at 16/1 – tied for 17th and 51st, respectively.
Europe’s best headline a 64-man international field at this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in the U.S. Rory McIlroy is the pre-tourney favorite (11/1), followed by Tiger Woods (13/1), Luke Donald (15/1) and Lee Westwood (16/1). Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer are at 20/1 odds as of Monday, per SkyBets.
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