Kruger in touch at Annika Invitational

An untimely shot into the drink at the 18th hole at Landskrona Golf Club cost Gauteng North’s Magda Kruger the outright lead of the Annika Invitational Europe, but South Africa’s number two ranked junior will start the second round just one shot off the pace and full of determination on Thursday.

The 16-year-old Centurion golfer took her double bogey finish on the chin and signed for an opening two-under-par 70 to finish in a group of four golfers chasing first round pacesetters, Martina Edberg from Sweden and Spain’s Celia Barquin.

Kruger overturned a two shot deficit at the start of her round and a bogey at the par-four fifth with three birdies to turn in level par. Back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th and another at the 13th saw her pull level with Edberg before she took the outright lead at four under with birdie number seven at the par-four 17th.

However, the Gauteng North teenager paid the price of a wayward tee shot at the par-four 18th that ended in the water guarding the with a double bogey six at the final hole.

“I was really disappointed with the finish, but overall it was a great day on the golf course,” Kruger said. “I had a chance to make eagle or birdie on the last hole because the holes are not long and I’m driving it very well.

“Unfortunately it went into the water and I had to drop, but that’s golf. You have to just get past it and try to do better in the next round. The course is fantastic, though, and I think the winner will be the player with the hottest putter and short game.

“Win or lose, I’m loving every moment of this experience.”

Unlike a fantastic performance in the pro-am on Tuesday, Kruger’s compatriot Bianca Theron struggled to find rhythm and finished well off the pace in a tie for 58th after posting a 10-over-par 82.

The South African number one junior had two bogeys and three double bogeys on the front nine and dropped four more shots coming home, offset by a birdie on each nine.

The Annika Invitational Europe, a world amateur ranking event, was founded by 10-time Major winner Annika Sorenstam last year and won by Swedish native, Linnea Strom.

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