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Ken Borland



Noren aimed low but ended over the moon 0

Posted on November 15, 2016 by Ken

 

Alex Noren was not aiming high at the start of the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City on Sunday, but he was over the moon after a phenomenal nine-under-par round of 63 earned him a dazzling six-shot victory at Gary Player Country Club.

In the 36 editions of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, only two other golfers – Sergio Garcia (2001) and Ernie Els (2002) – have shot 63 in the final round to win and it’s fair to say the course was much easier back then.

The 34-year-old Swede started the day six strokes behind leader Jeunghun Wang, who had fired a wonderful 64 in incredibly tough conditions on the third day and seemed to already have one hand on the famous crystal trophy.

But Noren produced a magnificent front nine, that featured six birdies, and then eagled the 10th and birdied 11 to rocket into the lead, nine-under through 11 holes and playing golf that was simply out of this world.

“Honestly, I thought I had no chance at the start of the round, this is a really tricky course and the leader had shot 64 yesterday which was like 59 today.

“So I just wanted to get a good round in before the World Tour Championship in Dubai next week, to have a good positive feeling going there, work on my swing a bit. Anything under par I would have been happy,” Noren said after his fourth victory in his last 11 tournaments.

But after starting with three straight birdies he then also picked up a shot on the fifth and then sank a 30-foot putt for another birdie on the par-three seventh; two behind Wang, he started to believe.

“I was a bit nervous at the start, I didn’t feel on top of my game but something happened and after seven holes I started to realise that I must believe in myself that I can win. My putter was very hot and I got a lot more excited,” Noren said.

The 21-year-old Wang initially held things together well and was not going away as he birdied the ninth to draw level with Noren. But he could only muster one more birdie on the back nine and, with his tee-shots going ever more off-target, he was undone by four bogeys coming in, having to settle for second place.

Louis Oosthuizen, three off the lead at the start of the day, just could not get going on Sunday and double-bogeyed the par-three seventh after finding the greenside bunker to fall off the pace. He birdied the 10th and 15th holes, but there were more dropped shots on the last three holes as he finished ninth, nine behind Noren.

Andy Sullivan shot a level-par 72 on Sunday to finish on seven-under, tied for third with leading South African Branden Grace (70), Spaniard Alejandro Canizares (68), Frenchman Victor Dubuisson (68) and Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia (67).

Henrik Stenson shot a 70 to finish eighth on six-under and will be going to the Race to Dubai finale in Dubai this week on top of the order of merit, but with Danny Willett and Noren still able to catch him.

Ford unable to keep up with dazzling Fisher Jnr 0

Posted on October 29, 2015 by Ken

Overnight leader Matt Ford was unable to keep up with a dazzling Trevor Fisher Junior, who shot a superb nine-under-par 63, on the third day of the Africa Open at East London Golf Club on Saturday.

Fisher Junior’s magnificent round, which featured seven birdies and an eagle, saw him finish the penultimate round on 16-under-par.

Ford posted a solid three-under-par 69 to go into the final round on 14-under, while the Englishman was joined in contention for the co-sanctioned title by South African Jaco van Zyl, who shot a 68 and is on 12-under-par.

The other golfers in the top six after the second round faded, with John Parry shooting a 69 to be 10-under, Mark Tullo posting a 70 to be on nine-under and South African Erik van Rooyen slipped all the way back to six-under after a 74.

Fisher Junior tied for third in the 2012 Joburg Open and for fourth in the 2010 Africa Open, and has five other top-10 finishes in co-sanctioned events, but he says he has learnt how to win after he overtook George Coetzee to win the Investec Cup last year and claim the R3.5 million bonus pool.

“You learn from every experience, but the Investec Cup was invaluable and I now know how to handle the pressure of trying to win on the final day. It’s about managing your game, where to be and where not to be. But you also have to hit the ball well and putt well,” Fisher Junior said.

While Fisher Junior was rolling in putts from everywhere – including an extraordinary 65-foot effort for birdie on the 13th – his compatriot, Van Zyl, was nonplussed by the greens. Despite playing beautifully from tee to green, he could only collect three birdies and an eagle.

“I got off to a flying start, but then I battled to see the lines from 13 on. I was rolling the ball nicely and I gave myself lots of opportunities, but I was always wondering about the lines. Anyway, I’m really enjoying being in the mix,” Van Zyl said.

Van Zyl’s only bogey came on the ninth hole when he missed a short putt for par, while Ford made his mistakes on the par-four eighth and 13th holes.

Ford was three-under-par for his round and comfortably holding on to the lead when he stepped on to the eighth tee and took on the short dogleg to the right. The Englishman put his second into the bunker, went over the green with his third, was short of the putting surface with his fourth, on for five and then putted for double-bogey.

But the man who finally won his European Tour card on his 10th visit to Qualifying School is still on track for a maiden title.

“It was a roller-coaster round, there were quite a few emotions and I’m a bit drained now,” Ford said after his round. “I would have taken three-under at the beginning of the round and there were more good shots than bad. Like a swan, it might look calm on the outside, but the feet are going mad underneath. But I try not to get too involved in the emotional side because you can’t play good golf with too much emotion,” Ford said.

Fisher Junior has led before going into the final round of a co-sanctioned event but failed to seal the deal, but he said he now has a fresh perspective and golf is no longer a daily grind for the 35-year-old.

“Whatever happens tomorrow, I’m going to have a smile on my face. When you’re younger, you tend to try too hard, but now that I’m more mature I realise that it’s just a game and I’m lucky to be playing it. Having kids also gives you a whole new perspective, and I’m just going to enjoy the view tomorrow,” Fisher Junior said.

Ford, who would have been delivering mail as a postman if he hadn’t finally gained his tour card last November, is similarly philosophical heading into the biggest day of his career.

“Tomorrow is going to be a lot of learning. What I’ve learnt today will hopefully put me in good stead for the final round,” the mellow 36-year-old said.

http://www.citizen.co.za/339956/ford-prepares-to-face-biggest-day-of-his-life/

62 came ‘out of the blue’ for Henning 0

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Ken

South African veteran Nic Henning has not finished in the top 100 of the Sunshine Tour order of merit since 2009 and he readily admitted that his record-equalling nine-under-par 62 in the first round of the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Thursday had come out of the blue.

“I have no idea where today’s round came from, the last couple of years I’ve been playing horrible golf and you can see that in my results. But I’ve been playing a lot recently and it feels fantastic, it’s been a long time since I’ve had such a good round,” Henning said.

The 45-year-old reached the milestone of 300 Sunshine Tour tournaments in September 2010, having turned pro in 1992, and Thursday’s glorious round was perhaps reward for his sheer determination to keep going through many lean years.

“You’ve just got to keep on going, fortunately I did well enough earlier in my career to qualify for this tournament through the career money-list, because pre-qualifying, which I had to do a couple of years ago, is really hit-and-miss. But you’ve got to just keep grinding away and believing you can do it,” Henning, the nephew of South African golfing great Harold, said.

His round of 62 equals the course record for the West Course set by Desvonde Botes in 2007, but the more challenging East Course lies in wait in Friday’s second round. Except for the 66s shot on the East Course by another South African veteran, Wallie Coetsee, and Englishman Sam Hutsby, all the other golfers in the top-10 on the leaderboard played on the West Course.

“My confidence is okay but I’m a bit apprehensive because the East Course is much tougher, but the secret is driving the ball nicely. Fortunately, throughout my 24 years on tour my driving has been very good.

“But today was only one round and I hope tomorrow brings a decent round as well. I’m just thinking about that first tee shot,” Henning said.

Two other seasoned local golfers, Titch Moore and Tjaart van der Walt, as well as Thomas Pieters of Belgium, also tamed the West Course with eight-under-par 63s.

Pieters eagled the par-five 15th, but then dropped shots on the 16th and 18th holes to leave him a little irritated.

Scoring is usually low on the West Course, but there is still plenty of timber to ensnare the errant golfer. Nevertheless, there were a host of cheerful golfers coming off that side of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington, with South Africans Dean Burmester and Garth Mulroy, as well as Australian Jason Scrivener, shooting 64s, and Joachim B. Hansen, Scott Henry, Byeong-hun An, Jorge Campillo, Andrew Curlewis and Simon Dyson carding 65s to join Coetsee and Hutsby on six-under.

Defending champion George Coetzee is sitting comfortably a stroke further back after a 66 on the West Course, while Thomas Aiken is also on five-under-par after a 67 on the East Course.

Two-time champion Richard Sterne is on three-under, while newly-announced European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke is on level-par.

Apart from Henning’s heroics, the other highlight of the day was the hole-in-one Moore registered on the 98-metre par-three fifth hole.

“I got off to a nice start and was a couple-under. I got up to the fifth and it was a perfect yardage for my 58-degree wedge, I pitched it a little behind the flag and it spun in. It never looked like it was going to miss. To make a one on the card is always special. It was awesome,” Moore said.

While the ace obviously helped catapult Moore up the leaderboard, it was a top-class round in general by the 39-year-old.

“I’m pleased with the round and to shoot eight-under on the West is always a good start. I played nicely and hit a lot of greens. I gave myself a lot of chances and putted solid,” Moore said.

Van der Walt was also delighted with his round after his comeback from a fatigue-inducing illness which now has him on a strict diet.

“It’s a lengthy process, but I’m getting fitter and stronger. I only had 25-26 putts today and that’s what it’s all about, as well as confidence. Golf is a sport we tend to over-complicate, but you play better when you simplify things,” Van der Walt said.

http://citizen.co.za/334504/henning-feels-fantastic-about-first-round/

Frustrated Henning gets a 62 out of the blue 0

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Ken

 

Veteran South African golfer Nic Henning has been tearing his hair out over the last few years as his game has steadily declined and then suddenly, out of the blue, came a record-equaling nine-under-par 62 yesterday in the first round of the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

The 45-year-old Henning, the nephew of Harold, turned pro in 1992 and finished in the top 10 on the order of merit in 1997/98, 1999/2000 and 2004/5, but there have been many lean years since then and the last time he was in the top 100 on the money-list was back in 2009.

“The last couple of years I’ve been playing horrible golf and you can see that in my results. I have no idea where today’s round came from, but I’ve been playing a lot recently and it feels fantastic, it’s been a long time since I’ve had such a good round,” Henning said after the best round in his lengthy pro career.

There were seven birdies and an eagle in Henning’s round, which equalled the West Course record set by fellow South African Desvonde Botes in 2007, and he went out in a phenomenal 29 strokes.

“My iron play was really good today, the best it’s been for many years, and I got off to a flyer to settle the nerves with birdies on the first two holes and then the eagle on the third when I hit a seven-iron from 169 metres exactly as I wanted to and it went in the hole!” Henning explained.

There are three golfers one stroke behind Henning on eight-under – fellow South African veterans Titch Moore and Tjaart van der Walt, as well as Thomas Pieters from Belgium.

Dean Burmester, Garth Mulroy and Australian Jason Scrivener are on seven-under, while another seasoned local, Wallie Coetsee, had the best round on the tougher East Course and is in the group on six-under.

Henning has been through the mills in recent years and his amazing round on Thursday was perhaps reward for his determination to keep going.

“You’ve just got to keep on going, fortunately I did well enough earlier in my career to qualify for this tournament through the career money-list, because pre-qualifying, which I had to do a couple of years ago, is really hit-and-miss. But you’ve got to just keep grinding away and believing you can do it,” Henning said.

It was either feast or famine for newly-announced European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke as he collected six birdies, two double-bogeys and two bogeys on his way to a level-par 72 on the East Course, while defending champion George Coetzee was in touch with the leaders after a five-under-par 66 on the West Course.

Thomas Aiken is in the same group after a 67 on the East Course, while two-time champion Richard Sterne is in a tie for 43rd after a 69.

Moore made an incredible start, going five-under-par through five holes after a hole-in-one on the very short 98m par-three.

“I got off to a nice start and was a couple-under. I got up to the fifth and it was a perfect yardage for my 58-degree wedge, I pitched it a little behind the flag and it spun in. It never looked like it was going to miss. To make a one on the card is always special. It was awesome,” Moore said.

 

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    1 Corinthians 3:3 - "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?"

    One of my favourite U2 songs is a collaboration with Johnny Cash called The Wanderer, and it features the line "they say they want the kingdom, but they don't want God in it".
    Many people say they believe in God, but they don't experience his loving presence. They may be active in Christian work, but only if they have their way. If they cannot be leaders, they refuse to be involved.
    Because they refuse to allow God to fill their lives with his love, they remain weak and powerless.
    Spiritual maturity means developing a greater love for others.

    "When the love of Christ saturates you, immature attitudes such as pettiness, jealousy and strife are dissolved.
    "It is only when you have an intimate relationship with the Lord that you receive sufficient grace to rise above this immaturity and enjoy the solid food that the Holy Spirit gives you." - Solly Ozrovech, A Shelter From The Storm



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