for quality writing

Ken Borland



Africa Open overseas player profiles 0

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Ken

 

ANDY SULLIVAN

 

The former Walker Cup representative first sprang to prominence in 2014 with five top-10 finishes to end 33rd in the Race to Dubai. His successful year included a hole-in-one at the KLM Open, which won him a trip to space.

2015 has been a glorious year for him, beating home favourite Charl Schwartzel in a playoff, thanks to a superb approach shot from the Glendower rough, to win the SA Open, and then triumphing in the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington on a tense final day.

 

BORN – 19 May 1986

COUNTRY – England

TURNED PRO – 2011

RACE TO DUBAI RANKING – 7th

2015 RESULTS – 2 wins in Johannesburg at the SA Open & Joburg Open; T4 at Dubai Desert Classic

CAREER WINS –  2015 SA Open; 2015 Joburg Open

 

 

ALEX NOREN

 

His career has been hampered by injuries and he is currently on a medical extension having missed all but two events of the 2014 season due to tendonitis in both wrists. He won twice in 2011 and had seven top-10s in 2012.

He has a degree in Business Marketing from Oklahoma State University.

 

BORN – 12 July 1982

COUNTRY – Sweden

TURNED PRO – 2005

RACE TO DUBAI RANKING – 10th

2015 RESULTS – 2nd at Dubai Desert Classic, 9th at Qatar Masters & T11 at Thailand Classic

CAREER WINS – 2009 European Masters; 2011 Wales Open; 2011 Nordea Masters

 

 

ANDREW DODT

 

The winner of the inaugural Thailand Classic and the 2010 Avantha Masters in New Delhi, he is obviously comfortable in Asia having played there throughout 2014.

A native of Brisbane in north-eastern Australia, he started playing golf when he was four, at the local Gatton Golf Club.

 

BORN – 26 January 1986

COUNTRY – Australia

TURNED PRO – 2007

RACE TO DUBAI RANKING – 14th

2015 RESULTS – 1st at Thailand Classic; T36 at Malaysian Open

CAREER WINS – 2010 Avantha Masters; 2015 Thailand Classic

 

 

GREGORY BOURDY

 

Coming from a golf-loving family, he started played the game when he was four.

His Hong Kong Open triumph came when held off a charging Rory McIlroy and he also won the Wales Open with a hat-trick of birdies.

A keen visitor to South Africa.

 

BORN – 25 April 1982

COUNTRY – France

TURNED PRO – 2003

RACE TO DUBAI RANKING – 22nd

2015 RESULTS – T5 at Qatar Masters & Malaysian Open; T13 at Dubai Desert Classic

CAREER WINS – 2007 Mallorca Classic; 2008 Portugal Open; 2009 Hong Kong Open; 2013 Wales Open

 

 

THOMAS PIETERS

 

There are lofty expectations for the lanky Belgian after he won the NCAA Golf Championship while at college in the United States.

Lost to Miguel Angel Jimenez in a playoff at the Spanish Open in his rookie season last year, finishing 83rd in the Race to Dubai. Since then his ranking has risen into the top 25 on the order of merit.

Took up golf along with his whole family when they played when on holiday in South Africa in 1997.

 

BORN – 27 January 1992

COUNTRY – Belgium

TURNED PRO – 2013

RACE TO DUBAI RANKING – 24th

2015 RESULTS – T4 at Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship; T8 at Alfred Dunhill Championship; T16 Malaysian Open

CAREER WINS – 0

 

 

BYEONG-HUN AN

 

The son of two Olympic table tennis medalists, Jiao Zhimin and Ahn Jae-Hyung (she represented China and his father South Korea), An has been based in the United States for more than six years.

The youngest winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship when he triumphed in 2009, he followed another winner into Europe in Peter Uihlein.

 

BORN – 17 September 1991

COUNTRY – South Korea

TURNED PRO – 2011

RACE TO DUBAI RANKING – 27th

2015 RESULTS – T5 at Qatar Masters; T7 at Joburg Open; T12 at Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship; T13 at Dubai Desert Classic

CAREER WINS – 0

 

 

MORTEN ORUM MADSEN

 

Told the media after his memorable SA Open triumph at Glendower that his maiden win had given him more hunger but also greater calmness and no fear on the golf course.

Had seven top-20 finishes in his rookie season on tour, including a T4 finish at the Nelson Mandela Championship.

He comes from the same club, Silkeborg GK, as Thomas Bjorn, who he considers a role-model. Wanted to be a footballer, but his father finally managed to win him over to golf when he was 12.

 

BORN – 9 April 1988

COUNTRY – Denmark

TURNED PRO – 2011

RACE TO DUBAI RANKING – 29th

2015 RESULTS – T4 at Dubai Desert Classic; T12 at Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship; T16 at Alfred Dunhill Championship

CAREER WINS – 2014 South African Open

 

 

ANDREW JOHNSTON

 

Finished on top of the Challenge Tour rankings in 2014 and began this season on a high with a third-placed finish at Leopard Creek.

Known as “Beef”, he is a powerful driver of the ball.

 

BORN – 18 February 1989

COUNTRY – England

TURNED PRO – 2009

RACE TO DUBAI RANKING – 33rd

2015 RESULTS – 3rd at Alfred Dunhill Championship; T35 at Dubai Desert Classic

CAREER WINS – 0

 

Ludeke comfortable with where Bulls are 0

Posted on July 04, 2015 by Ken

The clock is rapidly ticking down to the start of the SuperRugby season for the Bulls, but coach Frans Ludeke is very comfortable with where his team are placed following two impressive warm-up victories over the Cheetahs and Saracens.

His charges impressed with the intensity and pace of their play in scoring three second-half tries in the 30-13 win over the Cheetahs in Polokwane and then running in six tries in the 39-26 victory over Saracens in London.

“We were able to work on certain areas in those games and they gave us exactly what we wanted to help us get our whole game into gear, plus the results went our way. I was impressed with how we protected our ball at the breakdown and our decision-making both on attack and defence,” Ludeke told The Citizen.

His post-mortem did, however, include an admission that the scrums still require work ahead of their SuperRugby opener against the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld next Saturday.

“The Saracens game was a great test, exactly what we wanted. They were good at the breakdown, scrums and mauls and we took a lot out of that game. I’m not worried about the scrummaging, there’s just a few small adjustments needed and we have the ability to do well there. But it’s going to be a huge contest in that area against the Stormers and the scrums will be a focus point next week,” Ludeke said.

His efforts in that regard are complicated by the absence of prop Marcel van der Merwe for three-to-four weeks due to a medial knee ligament injury, but lock Flip van der Merwe, out for two months with a torn pectoral muscle, is the only other first-choice player currently unavailable.

SuperRugby is going the way of American Football in terms of franchises having huge playing squads and Ludeke is delighted by the depth created by the way several youngsters performed in the two warm-up games.

Hanro Liebenberg looks to be the heir apparent to all the wonderful other loose forwards who have made their names at the Bulls, while fellow youngsters like Jacques du Plessis, Marvin Orie, Jamba Ulengo, Travis Ismaiel and Jesse Kriel all have airs of confidence about themselves too.

“It’s exciting to see that talent and credit to the recruitment team for getting those players to Loftus. The way those players reacted against very proper opposition, with several international players, creates good depth for us,” Ludeke said.

The Stormers, ever the bridesmaids and never the bride when it comes to SuperRugby, will come to Pretoria after a tumultuous build-up that has seen their squad hit by several injuries, the suspension of lock Gerbrandt Grobler for steroid use and the announcement that coach Allister Coetzee will be leaving Cape Town.

But the Bulls are taking nothing for granted.

“Next week is when the actual competition starts and we have to take the same energy and momentum into the game against the Stormers. We have to play with accuracy against them. Our first three games are at home, which is ideal, but it’s crucial that we make a good start,” Ludeke said.

 

 

 

Amla & Rossouw overwhelm West Indies 0

Posted on April 30, 2015 by Ken

An overwhelming batting display – Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw blazing their way to centuries – carried South Africa to a comfortable 131-run victory over the West Indies in the fifth and final Momentum One-Day International at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday night.

With Amla and Rossouw slamming a record 247 runs for the third wicket off just 181 balls, South Africa charging to 361 for five after bad weather delayed the start of play by two-and-a-half hours and reduced the match to 42 overs per side, the hosts were always in control and they duly bowled the West Indies out for 230 in 37.4 overs.

Their batsmen having once again produced the goods, South Africa’s second-string bowling attack were eager to please but, Wayne Parnell apart, they showed that the Proteas cannot be complacent in the field when they get to the World Cup.

Kyle Abbott managed to dismiss dangerman Chris Gayle with the first ball of the innings, the left-hander only getting a thin edge as he flashed at an ill-directed opener short and well wide of off stump. The Proteas had to get the dismissal on review as umpire Sundaram Ravi called the delivery wide.

Abbott continued to spray the ball about, and although he claimed a second wicket with a full, straight delivery that bowled Marlon Samuels for 50, he persisted with banging the ball in halfway down the pitch and went for 59 runs in seven overs to finish a disappointing series for him.

Narsingh Deonarine (43) and Dwayne Smith (31) added 77 at a run-a-ball for the second wicket to repair the early damage, but Aaron Phangiso fooled Smith with the arm-ball to trap him lbw and Deonarine failed to get back in time as Samuels turned down a quick single and was run out in the left-arm spinner’s next over.

Samuels went on to score a quickfire half-century before being castled by what replays suggested was an Abbott no-ball, while Denesh Ramdin made a run-a-ball 40 before being undone by a sharp lifter from Parnell, gloving a catch to square-leg, where Amla moved smartly and dived to take a fine catch.

Parnell would be the best of the South African bowlers by some margin, taking four for 42 in nine overs, while fast bowler Marchant de Lange, who will not be going to the World Cup, enjoyed standing in for Vernon Philander (slight groin strain) and took one for 34 in eight tidy overs.

Although the West Indies’ batsmen never threatened to win the match, South Africa’s bowling was not precise enough for them to be happy with their performance in the field. Even Parnell tended to stick to back-of-a-length deliveries, which will be fodder for better batting line-ups at the World Cup.

Rossouw proved his credentials with the World Cup just around the corner as he lashed a great century, helping himself to a career-best 132 off just 98 balls, with nine fours and eight sixes, and Amla cruised to yet another century, scoring a fine 133 off 105 deliveries.

Rossouw and Amla added 247 for the third wicket off just 181 balls, a record third-wicket partnership for South Africa and equalling their own mark for the best stand for any wicket that they set in the second ODI at the Wanderers.

It was another top-class batting display by the South Africans, even with big gun AB de Villiers having a rest, as they laid a solid platform on a tricky pitch and then launched a spectacular late onslaught.

A couple of wickets had fallen in the first 10 overs as Quinton de Kock (4) and Faf du Plessis (16) fell to horizontal-bat strokes on a pitch that provided enough awkward bounce to make those shots difficult.

Amla once again looked in a class apart as he reached a 49-ball half-century in the 21st over, midway through the innings with South Africa on 109 for two, while Rossouw, who has endured a troubled ODI career thus far, struggled through to his 50 off 60 balls.

But those early miscues all seemed a lifetime ago as Rossouw then blossomed in spectacular fashion, needing just 23 more deliveries to register his second century of the series.

The left-hander raced past Amla and looked every bit a power-hitter as he smashed 82 runs off his last 38 balls.

Amla just kept on amassing runs as he has all series, except in this innings he was able to do it in half-dozens at a time, clearing the boundary six times to go with his 11 fours, showing that even a great batsman like him has had room to improve his game.

The West Indies were bleeding runs horrifically as the sun shone brightest on its way to the western horizon, bathing SuperSport Park in a sepia light befitting a display that was one for the ages.

The last 147 runs of the Amla and Rossouw partnership came off just 69 balls … and that by two batsmen who are not renowned for being big boundary-hitters.

Finishers David Miller (23 off 9) and JP Duminy (18* off 7) were left with only a handful of overs to bat but they collected their share of boundaries as 87 runs were hammered in the last five overs.

With the bounce providing something for the bowlers to work with – which the West Indians failed to do – South Africa’s total was certainly well over par.

 http://citizen.co.za/316681/amla-rossouw-batting-blaze/

De Villiers comfortable with all that’s asked of him 0

Posted on November 03, 2014 by Ken

As coach Gary Kirsten pointed out, the South African cricket team asks a lot of AB de Villiers: captain, wicketkeeper and number four batsman. But as De Villiers steered South Africa to a series win over Pakistan at Willowmoore Park in Benoni with a tremendous 95 not out off 111 balls on a difficult pitch with variable bounce, much of it steep and disconcerting, it became increasingly clear that he is comfortable with all the responsibility.

De Villiers’ knock on Sunday was his third half-century of the five-match series, to go with his superb century last weekend at the Wanderers, taking his tally for the series to a staggering 367 runs. It made him the obvious choice as man of the series and, having won the same accolade after the Tests, it’s fair to say De Villiers has never batted better, despite the increased burdens.

“I’m enjoying my batting. I’m just trying to keep it simple; I have a straightforward game plan – good intensity and good energy at the crease – and I’m just focusing on keeping still and really watching the ball,” De Villiers said with typical modesty.

While it’s easy to mock South Africa’s past record at ICC events, there is no doubt they will once again be amongst the favourites at the Champions Trophy in England in June.

They will clearly rely hugely, once again, on De Villiers as their greatest ODI match-winner, but they should also be a stronger outfit than the team that was not entirely convincing in edging Pakistan 3-2 on home soil. Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel will all play key, bigger roles than they did against Pakistan.

Kirsten confirmed that he had been leaning on Kallis to make himself available and he is confident the great all-rounder will be having another go at getting his large hands on an ICC trophy.

“Jacques is not going to play ODI cricket for us anymore, but we reserve the right to use him as a wildcard in big tournaments, and the Champions Trophy is the last ICC event before the next World Cup. So I sidled up to Jacques at a good moment and asked him if he’d be interested in playing, and he said he probably was,” Kirsten said.

Kallis is bound to slot straight back into the number three spot in England and will also give the team the sixth bowler, which is imperative at ODI level.

With South Africa’s premier all-rounder returning to action, where does that leave Ryan McLaren?

McLaren will have some wonderful yarns to tell his grandchildren after a renaissance summer for the 30-year-old in which he shone in successive series wins over New Zealand and Pakistan. He took 10 cheap wickets at an economy rate of 4.45 against the sub-continental side, while he played a couple of crucial innings against the Black Caps and took eight wickets in three matches.

“It’s important for us to look for a new guy to step into Jacques’ place and Ryan has now had a bit of a run. He has shown he has the skills to do the job with the ball and I’m confident he can do a job with the bat too. He’s now displaying his skills in a relaxed manner and has had two fantastic series,” Kirsten said.

The coach stressed that the air’s notoriously thinner at international level, so one of the major positives from the summer was the way “fringe” players like McLaren, Farhaan Behardien, David Miller, Colin Ingram and Rory Kleinveldt stepped up and performed.

“There’s a lot less pressure at domestic level but everyone expects players to make a play straight away at international level. If they haven’t produced the goods after two games then they say they’re not good enough.

“But I’m very pleased that guys like Behardien, Miller, McLaren, Ingram and Kleinveldt have all had an impact and have shown they’re capable of playing at international level. We’ve created some depth and it’s important for us to find other players. I’m excited by the development of those fringe players,” Kirsten said.

As much as traditionalists (myself included) dislike the idea of De Villiers being captain, wicketkeeper and the key batsman, there is no doubt it seems to have brought out the best of one of the most extraordinarily talented cricketers in the world.

“AB has made great strides as captain and this has been a very significant series for him. His batting has been outstanding and his wicketkeeping continues to develop. Plus he had a couple of great games as captain, he’s done a fantastic job as skipper. It obviously takes time to develop as an international captain,” Kirsten said.

There have been some suggestions that there has been a lack of focus on limited-overs cricket from the current Proteas management, but Kirsten assured that the eyes of the coaching staff are firmly on the Champions Trophy. Winning that would obviously help lift the monkey on their back when it comes to World Cups.

“We’re trying to bring in a similar culture to the Test team, but there’s a different focus and we don’t even talk about the Tests. We’ve made good strides against a great team in this series and it’s been a good stepping-stone to where we want to go.

“Now it will be a good time to reflect and work out how we can win the Champions Trophy and I’m very excited about the team we can put together,” Kirsten said.

Kirsten confirmed that the addition of another world-class spinner in Johan Botha was not on the cards, but South Africa’s pace bowlers will obviously enjoy performing in the seam and swing of English conditions.

But that is also when the leadership and mettle of De Villiers will have its first major test. But, as he showed again in conquering the fearsome Pakistan attack on a tricky Willowmoore Park pitch, De Villiers is not one to shy away from a challenge.

– http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-03-25-as-easy-as-abde-v/#.VFdqZ_mUde8



↑ Top