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Ken Borland



Fisher on fire in compelling Africa Open triumph 0

Posted on October 30, 2015 by Ken

 

Trevor Fisher Junior cruised to victory by five strokes in the Africa Open on Sunday, a brand of compelling, positive and precise golf netting him nine birdies in a fabulous eight-under-par 64 at East London Golf Club.

Fisher Junior’s victory maintained South Africa’s stranglehold on the tournament, the trophy staying at home for the eighth successive year as Englishman Matt Ford, who shot a worthy five-under-par 67, was kept in second place by the sheer brilliance of the winner.

“I only had three bogeys for the week which is quite an achievement, that’s how you win tournaments by keeping bogeys off your card. My mindset was great, I didn’t let anything faze me, and I hit my long irons very well. All you want to do is give yourself a chance,” Fisher Junior said after a remarkable round that took his weekend tally to 17-under-par after a 63 on the third day.

It was the 129th South African triumph on the European Tour, which will now have a new – and very popular, judging by all the congratulatory messages on social media – member as the victory gave Fisher Junior the card he has long been striving for.

Ford, who was in the lead for the first two rounds, did little wrong as he also went in search of his maiden European Tour win, with a bogey on the ninth, when he missed a six-footer for par, the only blemish on his card.

The European Tour rookie made birdies at the first and third holes, but these were matched by Fisher.

The Modderfontein golfer’s only dropped shot came at the short par-four fifth, when he was short of the green with his approach after his tee-shot stopped under the lip of the fairway bunker just before the crest of the hill. From there he three-putted, but he rebounded with birdies at the sixth and seventh holes, before making an excellent par save on eight when his drive was way left.

“I don’t want to define myself through my golf, so I tried to be myself whether I’d played a good shot or a bad shot, just be a happy guy. I actually felt very comfortable out there, although I was a bit nervous towards the end,” Fisher Junior said when explaining how he brushed off the adversities that inevitably come in a final round.

The back 10 at East London Golf Club features a zoo-full of wildlife that is astonishingly tame – including Nyala, Impala and Blue Duiker – and Fisher Junior has tamed the second half of the old-style course throughout the week, not dropping a single shot in his four rounds coming in.

The back 10 starts at the ninth at East London Golf Club and this was the key hole in deciding the Africa Open.

Fisher Junior, who was firing his long-irons at the flags with superb precision, stuck a four-iron 10 feet from the flag and drained the birdie putt; Ford made bogey after missing a six-footer for par.

“The ninth-hole was a nice swing, I was suddenly three ahead. I hit a two-iron off the tee and then the four-iron was probably my shot of the week,” Fisher Junior said.

Last year’s Chase to the Investec Cup champion then made swift work of the last nine holes, picking up four more birdies for an astonishingly easy win.

Fisher Junior said it was not the first time he has gone really low on this coastal links-type course.

“A few years ago I went seven-under and seven-under here to lead after the first two rounds, but Charl Schwartzel won. This year I thought it was my time and I had confidence because I’ve done it before on this course,” he said.

Third place was shared by two Spaniards – Eduardo de la Riva and Jorge Campillo – and Denmark’s Morten Orum Madsen, who all shot 66s to finish on 16-under, while John Parry and Jaco van Zyl shared sixth on 14-under.

Van Zyl had started the day four strokes behind Fisher Junior, and also had high hopes of securing his first European Tour win. But he endured a mediocre day, especially with the putter, and could only post a two-under-par 70.

For Fisher Junior, the father of two daughters, the victory brings with it a European Tour exemption until the end of 2016.

“I’ve tried so hard to get that European Tour card, for so many years. Obviously it’s a massive step for my career because that’s where all South African golfers want to be,” Fisher Junior said.

Even more success and glory could lie ahead for the ever-smiling golfer because the Investec Cup finale, with its R3.5 million bonus pool prize for the winner, is less than two weeks away and Fisher Junior is in pole position to win one of the biggest prizes in South African golf once again.

 

 

Deysel out but Alberts back for Sharks 0

Posted on September 22, 2015 by Ken

Storming Cell C Sharks loose forward Jean Deysel will be unavailable for four-to-six weeks after injuring his ankle, but the fabulous news for the KwaZulu-Natal team is that Springbok regular Willem Alberts is back to full fitness and ready for action again.

Deysel, who has earned four Springbok caps himself, had what the Sharks termed a “small procedure” on his ankle after the unfortunate defeat to the Bulls and is currently on crutches.

But the return of Alberts for this weekend’s crunch encounter with the Stormers at Newlands, four weeks into the competition, can barely have come at a better time for a Sharks team that has just one victory under their belts.

Alberts has been training at full intensity for two-and-a-half weeks now and is likely to be unleashed against the South African Conference leaders on Saturday.

Renaldo Bothma has been outstanding for the Sharks thus far, so Deysel’s absence will hardly be felt with either Alberts or the former Pumas hard man taking the empty place on the bench.

Currie Cup captain Tera Mtembu is also in contention and, as he pointed out on Tuesday, there is plenty of depth at loose forward for the Sharks.

“Every guy who has stood in has done well and it’s a good headache for the coach. It’s awesome to have Willem back and he’s raring to go, but Renaldo has done very well at number seven as well,” Mtembu said.

While a lot of the blame for the Sharks’ defeat to the Bulls can be laid at the door of poor officiating, Mtembu said the team has to shoulder the responsibility for their own shortcomings.

“Obviously it was a disappointing result and we’ve been working hard on certain things for the last two days to rectify them. The main thing is our consistency. We didn’t start well against the Cheetahs, we were awesome against the Lions and then we let ourselves down last weekend. That can’t go on. The energy is there, we just need to be smarter in our decision-making,” Mtembu said.

The return of hugely experienced backs Frans Steyn and JP Pietersen to the Sharks fold will also help them to match an in-form Stormers backline.

Not all players going to Japan come back in tiptop condition, but Steyn and Pietersen are both looking in tremendous shape.

“They’ll definitely give us a lift, as old as they are, they both want to do well, they bring a lot of energy and they are going to inspire the guys around them,” Mtembu said.

The Sharks team to travel to Cape Town will be announced on Thursday.

http://citizen.co.za/337125/deysel-out-but-alberts-back/



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