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Ken Borland

Floyd surely not far from breakthrough victory given recent form 0

Posted on July 01, 2024 by Ken

Talented 19-year-old golfer Kiera Floyd is surely not far from her breakthrough Sunshine Ladies Tour victory given her recent form, and this week’s Absa Ladies Invitational being played at her home course of Serengeti Estates may just give her that extra edge that leads her to her first professional title.

Floyd has finished in the top-10 of her last two events, the Fidelity ADT Ladies Challenge and the Standard Bank Ladies Open, while she also contended strongly in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt, before shooting 84 in the final round to finish tied-15th.

And the good news for her is that the Serengeti layout is just her cup of tea. Floyd’s length and accuracy off the tee should see her prosper on the 5688m course.

“I’ve been playing Serengeti for many years and I’m really looking forward to this tournament. Serengeti has a lot of signature holes, which can make it a make-or-break situation. Just none of the holes are the same, there’s always something different thrown at you and usually a bunker in the way too,” Floyd says.

“It’s not a very open course, but it all depends on where you play it off the tee. It’s definitely not the same as the other courses we’ve played this season, for me it is special, I really like the layout and it has its own way of playing it.

“I’m feeling really confident, I’m playing really nicely at the moment. The course is a bit longer, which suits me because I am a long hitter. But I still have to play well, I can’t take things for granted just because it is my home course,” Floyd says.

The second-year pro has always quickly conquered the different levels of the game, and her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour win cannot be far away judging by her previous achievements. Floyd won the Benoni Country Club Ladies Championship aged nine, she finished third in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Jabra Classic aged 14, and she won the South African Women’s Strokeplay Championship in 2022 before turning professional at the beginning of last year. She has already racked up six top-10 finishes on tour.

But on a course with so many different layers of difficulty, she has identified staying calm during the inevitable tough times as the key element of her game that needs to improve for her to make that next step into the winner’s circle as a professional.

“I’ve struggled a bit in the past events with keeping my head up if I make a bogey or a hole does not go well. I need to be more consistent, put both nines together. You need that consistency so if you start on a roll then you can keep it going. I need to stay patient to get the ‘W’, just work my way through the course and whatever happens, happens,” Floyd said.

Her contemporary Gabrielle Venter won the Standard Bank Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club three weeks ago, giving Floyd a lot of confidence she can make it back-to-back South African winners when the Absa Ladies Invitational gets underway at Serengeti on Thursday.

But there will be other winners providing a stiff challenge in the R1.2 million event as well, such as seasoned champion Lee-Anne Pace, Germany’s Helen Kreuzer and India’s Tvesa Malik, already winners on tour this season, as well as strong South African challengers such as Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia and Cara Gorlei, and the consistent Alexandra Swayne from the U.S. Virgin Islands, who has not finished outside the top-14 yet this campaign.

Spinners lead Lions to victory as they reap the benefits of attack suited to all conditions 0

Posted on June 26, 2024 by Ken

Our DP World Lions reaped the benefits of having an attack suited to all conditions as spinners Nqaba Peter and Bjorn Fortuin led them to an outstanding victory over the GBets Rocks in their CSA T20 Challenge match over the weekend at Boland Park in Paarl.

The win has lifted the DP World Lions back into second place on the log, ahead of Western Province on nett run-rate.

Leg-spinner Peter claimed a career-best three for 14 in his four overs and slow left-armer Fortuin produced brilliant figures of 4-1-15-2 as they took full advantage of the slow and low conditions of the Rocks’ home ground to restrict them to 116 for eight in their 20 overs.

Having lost the toss, captain Fortuin took the new ball and set the tone, alongside the impressive Wiaan Mulder, for an excellent display in the field, claiming the first two wickets. Proteas Test batsman Keegan Petersen was beautifully beaten by flight and bowled for 7, while Clyde Fortuin tried to hit out and was well-caught at deep extra cover by Reeza Hendricks for 8.

The 22-year-old Peter then showed superb control and some skilful variations as he ripped through the middle-order to leave the Rocks 80 for five in the 14th over. Adrian du Toit (15) and Michael Copeland (17) were both caught trying to release the pressure, and Aviwe Mgijima (9) was bowled by a superb delivery, with the experts still trying to figure out whether it was a flipper or a slider! What chance did the batsman have?

Seamers Mulder (4-0-26-2) and Evan Jones (3-0-20-1) then closed out the innings extremely well, as the Rocks finished with a run-rate of less than 6.

The #PrideOfJozi then chased down their target of 117 with such ease that it was difficult to believe they were playing on the same pitch, or that the DP World Lions were the away team.

Ryan Rickelton (23 off 30 balls) played with control as he and Hendricks provided a composed start by putting on 47 inside the first nine overs, before Jones came in and showed his power by slamming 43 not out off just 27 balls, including two sixes.

Hendricks also hit a couple of sixes as he finished on 53 not out off 47 deliveries as our Pride completed a nine-wicket hammering with 16 balls to spare.

Our Pride remain in the Western Cape for their next match as they take on Western Province at Newlands on Wednesday, a crucial match-up between second and third on the standings.

Lions are well aware narrow loss was not performance they’re looking for – Domingo 0

Posted on June 26, 2024 by Ken

Our DP World Lions may have only gone down by two runs in their CSA T20 Challenge match against the Dafabet Warriors, but coach Russell Domingo says the team are well aware that it was not the type of performance the Pride are looking for and they will need to be back at their best on Sunday when they take on the GBets Rocks at Boland Park.

Although the match at the DP World Wanderers Stadium against the Eastern Province side went down to the last ball, the Lions have readily admitted they did not play well, a messy performance in the field being the main cause of their defeat.

“We didn’t deserve to win and the Warriors thoroughly deserved their triumph,” DP World Lions coach Russell Domingo said. “Our fielding was really poor, we were far too sloppy and we also had a poor start with the ball and bowled too many soft balls throughout.

“Intensity and more focus in the field is really important. These days players are not just batsmen or bowlers, if you want to play international cricket then you have to offer more than one discipline. We have so many good players, but we’re not going to get by with average fielding.

“With the bat, we really needed someone to score eighty-odd and bat through; the only reason we got so close was thanks to Wiaan Mulder hitting some boundaries at the end.

“But we are only halfway through the competition, there are still seven matches to play, so there’s a lot of cricket left for us to get back up the log. Rather have that sort of performance now than at the end of the tournament,” Domingo said.

Their next opponents, the Rocks, are obviously not going to be lacking any intensity or motivation because they are in the midst of a relegation battle. Our #PrideOfJozi will also be leaving the comforts of home for the late-summer heat of the Boland valley.

“The Rocks had a good win over the Dolphins, who beat us, and we know they are going to be up for it, so it’s not going to be an easy game,” Domingo said.

“Late in the season up on the Highveld, there’s a bit of a chill in the evenings and the pitches are maybe not as hard as previously, so there is a bit of movement. The scores are not as high now and it is tricky for the batters.

“But I expect it to be drier and slower in Paarl, it could spin a bit and spinners will come into the game more. A good total could be around 150-160, and chasing might be difficult because we are playing the second match of a double-header on the same pitch,” Domingo said.

WP bemused by Mkhize as Lions attack superbly disciplined 0

Posted on June 19, 2024 by Ken

The powerful Western Province batting line-up was bemused by the left-arm seam of Relebohile Mkhize as she led the DP World Lions to a vital victory in their one-day match at Newlands last weekend, while the attack as a whole was superbly disciplined as our Pride did the double in Cape Town by also winning the T20 game.

Mkhize took three for 32 in eight overs as she ripped through the World Sports Betting Western Province middle-order, the DP World Lions bowling the home side out for 188 as they successfully defended their total of 228. Mkhize claimed the key wickets of Proteas Faye Tunnicliffe, bowled first ball by a beauty that swung in late from over the wicket, and Delmi Tucker (10), trapped lbw by a similar delivery, while she also bowled Tatum le Roux, who provided the last bit of resistance with 37 off 45 balls.

The victory for the #PrideOfJozi sets up a title decider on April 13 with the Dolphins at the DP World Wanderers Stadium. If the Lions beat the KwaZulu-Natalians with a bonus point then they will finish tied with them at the top of the log with 29 points; but the Central Gauteng team could then take the title based on number of wins or nett run-rate.

The DP World Lions total was built around the solid platform laid by opener Nonkululeko Thabethe, whose 56 off 89 balls ensured there would be freedom to score quickly for those who followed. Jenna Evans went wild in the closing overs with some daring shots taking her to 44 off 52 deliveries, while Madison Landsman struck a brisk 52 off 65 balls.

The DP World Lions bowling was exceptional as a unit in the T20 match, bowling just one wide in the Western Province innings as the hosts were restricted to 127 for six to lose by 17 runs. Like a liposuction machine that sucks up off the fat lying around, there was just nothing loose for the WP batters to make use of, no easy runs given away.

Seamers Lehlohonolo Meso (4-0-24-1) and Mkhize (4-0-25-1) were both extremely difficult to get away, while spinner Sarah Nettleton (4-0-21-2) bowled both Proteas openers Lara Goodall (5), with a superb delivery that was angled in and then spun away sharply from the left-hander to hit off-stump, and Tunnicliffe (11). The other spinners, Jenna Evans (3-0-17-1) and captain Kgomotso Rapoo (4-0-25-0) supported well.

Electing to bat first, after a solid run-a-ball start by Palesa Mapoo (20) and Landsman (19), the DP World Lions lost four wickets in successive overs to slip to 49 for four at the halfway mark. But doctor Kirstie Thomson had the right medicine, using her considerable experience to stabilise the innings and form a partnership with Thabethe.

By the end of their unbeaten 95-run stand, they were really dishing out the treatment to the WP bowlers, lifting our Pride to 144 for four.

Thomson finished with a fine 55 not out off 42 balls, while Thabethe struck a punishing 41 not out off only 27 deliveries.

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