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Ken Borland

Chip-in and then birdie the key blows for Rohwer and Bremner 0

Posted on September 23, 2022 by Ken

CENTURION, Gauteng – Chipping in on the 10th green and then making birdie on the 13th proved to be the key blows as Martin Rohwer and Merrick Bremner held off the chasing pack to win the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship by six strokes at Blue Valley Golf Estate on Saturday.

Rohwer and Bremner took a four-stroke lead into the betterball final round of the R1.2 million event, but that had all but evaporated as Combrinck Smit nailed a hole-in-one on the 173m second hole and then Erhard Lambrechts sank his second for an albatross on the par-five third hole.

But they are relative greenhorns compared to Bremner and Rohwer and the KwaZulu-Natal duo held their nerve superbly in tough, blustery conditions. Even so, they were only a couple of strokes ahead as they completed the front nine, before Rohwer chipped in for eagle on the 10th and Bremner made an important birdie putt on the par-five 13th.

“The wind was up today so it made it tough,” Rohwer said. “But we hung in there and dovetailed together quite well. The chip-in at 10 and then a huge birdie at 13 when Merrick chipped it almost dead, just pulled us clear a bit.

“We had seen a scoreboard on the ninth so we knew exactly how well Erhard and Combrinck were doing. But we stayed pretty aggressive and those three shots gained made it much easier for us down the stretch,” Rohwer said.

Bremner and Rohwer birdied the 15th and then the par-five closing hole to finish with a 62 and 28-under-par overall. Lambrechts and Smit eventually posted a 61 to leave themselves on 22-under, alongside Jean Hugo and Hennie du Plessis, who were also 11-under on Saturday.

The victory was a particular relief for Bremner, a 36-year-old tour veteran for whom success has been as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster over the last year or so. It is his first victory since 2020.

For Rohwer, who claimed his second title at the Vodacom Origins of Golf final in January, the triumph rounded off a near-perfect week.

“It really helps with my exemption category which was going to run out in January. So now I’m in all the big co-sanctioned events and it’s just nice to win after putting in all the prep.

“It’s also massive for Merrick, who was great to have as a partner. It’s always special teaming up with a mate.

“And I absolutely loved the betterball-foursomes-betterball format, from start to finish,” Rohwer said.

SA unable to marry stellar defence with attacking edge 0

Posted on August 22, 2022 by Ken

South Africa were unable to marry their stellar defensive efforts with an attacking edge in the Women’s Hockey World Cup over the weekend, with defeats to Germany and Ireland in Amstelveen condemning them to the playoffs for 13th-16th spot.

Taking on powerhouses Germany for a place in the quarterfinals, goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande led an amazing defensive effort that saw South Africa miss out on a top-eight finish by just a single goal. They had kept the world’s fourth-ranked team goalless in the first half, but an early penalty corner strike in the second half proved the difference in a 1-0 defeat, that nevertheless made an impression on the world of hockey.

The defeat on Saturday evening meant South Africa had to play again less than 18 hours later against an enthusiastic Ireland team for a finish in the top-12.

Unfortunately, having put up such a stout effort in the previous game, the team’s lack of energy reserves caused them to sell themselves short in a 2-0 defeat.

After a bright start, South Africa gradually began falling off the pace, with ill-discipline and cards not helping their cause. Ireland began to take control of the match and it was only a heck of a defensive effort again which kept them to two goals. The Irish enjoyed 13 penalty corners to 1 and had 24 circle entries compared to South Africa’s 14.

“We’re disappointed with how we played,” Lilian du Plessis, who earned her 150th cap on Sunday, said. “We let ourselves down a bit technically, we knew what to do tactically and it worked when we executed it properly.

“It was tough playing so soon after the Germany match, but we can’t use that as an excuse because individually we were not good enough.

“We need to regroup and refocus now, put lots of prep into our next game and try to fix what we got wrong today,” Du Plessis said.

Proteas’ 1st women’s Test in 8 years versus team with widest experience of the format 0

Posted on August 08, 2022 by Ken

South Africa’s women’s cricket team head into their first Test match in eight years – and just their 13th overall – in Taunton on Monday when they tackle the side with the widest experience of the format: England.

Monday’s historic encounter will be England’s third Test in just over a year and they have played 97 in all. Most of their team were involved in an Ashes Test against Australia in January.

The Proteas’ preparations for what is really a daunting step into the unknown have been rocked by the unavailability due to injury of leading fast bowler Shabnim Ismail (calf strain) and all-rounder Chloe Tryon (hip). The in-form Ayabonga Khaka will also not be playing because she declared herself unavailable for Test cricket before the start of the tour.

“We would love to have had those three seniors, with their experience and skillsets, but it’s not a big setback,” captain Sune Luus said on Sunday.

“We still have a very good team, the youngsters have shown they can step up in the recent series we’ve played and I have full confidence in them. The team is the future of South African cricket.

“It’s our first Test in eight years and we’re just going to enjoy it as much as we can. We’re picking up the red Dukes ball for the first time and we’re delighted to have the opportunity.

“Test cricket hasn’t always been the biggest thing for women’s cricket, but hopefully we can play more of them in the future,” Luus said.

Playing successful Test cricket will require a range of skills from a Proteas team that are very inexperienced in the long-form game.

“It’s all new for us in Test matches and we’re very excited,” Luus said. “We do not really know what Test cricket is about and how it goes, but it will be a good challenge for our skills.

“You need to concentrate for long periods and you’ve got to be on top of your game. We’ve worked on our game-plans and what is required at certain times.

“It’s going to be a work in progress, we’ll take it session-by-session, we’ll be learning all the time. It’s going to be a great introduction and opportunity.

“It’s a real honour to wear our Test caps for the first time. There are going to be a lot of Test debuts and it’s going to be a special day for us,” Luus said.

  • Play starts at 12pm SA time

Sullivan wins playoff after Schwartzel’s dream turns into a nightmare 0

Posted on March 22, 2015 by Ken

When Charl Schwartzel walked off the 13th green at Glendower Golf Club on Sunday after his second successive birdie, he was enjoying a four-shot lead in the South African Open, his dream of a first national open title looking a near-certainty.

But  a disastrous finish that saw Schwartzel bogey both the par-threes coming in and rack up a double-bogey at 16 meant he was embroiled in a playoff with Andy Sullivan, and when the Englishman fashioned a superb approach shot from the rough and then sank a pressure 12-foot winning putt on the 18th, the local favourite’s dream had become a nightmare.

Sullivan admitted afterwards that he was just about to leave Glendower to head for the airport and his flight to Dubai when Schwartzel began unravelling, his final-round 74 leaving him on 11-under for the tournament.

“I was nearly ready to go and I didn’t see Charl do what he did. I was reflecting on the week and thinking ‘yeah, second is good for the first tournament of the year’, but the unbelievable happened,” Sullivan said.

He went to warm-up again on the driving range, but his tee-shot in the playoff was way left and in trouble in the rough, behind the low branches of a tree. Schwartzel, however, had been ropey all day off the tee and with his irons, and he had earlier sent his playoff drive way right, even further from the fairway than Sullivan’s.

The 28-year-old from the English midlands town of Nuneaton produced a superb stroke, setting up his maiden European Tour win, as he left his second a mere 12 feet from the hole.

“I thought I was in trouble because to miss the fairway right is better on that hole, it’s a lot clearer. But I thought ‘it’s all about what I can do’ and I didn’t allow Charl’s position to have any influence on what I did.

“I only had 131 metres to the pin, but I had low branches in front of me so I had to hit a low nine-iron to keep under those. I was aiming at the grandstand and trying to cut it back, and I hit it perfectly. I thought I’d still be 20 feet from the flag, but instead I was 12 feet and pin-high,” Sullivan said.

He said it was “without a doubt” one of the best shots he has ever played, and he made it count by ramming in the putt for birdie and becoming the first English winner of the SA Open since Tommy Horton in 1970.

The man who famously won a trip into space for a hole-in-one at the KLM Open last September said he would be celebrating and “milking it for all its worth” till he was seeing space.

The enormity of his achievement, coming to the lairs of Schwartzel, Els and Grace and claiming their title, was starting to sink in for Sullivan when he spoke to the media about an hour after sinking the winning putt.

“South Africans are so good on their home turf, to beat guys like Charl, Branden and Ernie here is just unbelievable. I’ve dreamt about winning a tournament since I was a little boy and what a championship, one of the oldest in golf and with all that history, to win. To think that my name will be on that trophy forever … “

Life is great on and off the course for Sullivan, who celebrated the birth of his daughter Ruby in late 2013 and has now converted a promising 2014 season into a maiden European Tour title.

Sullivan started the final round eight behind Schwartzel and knew he had to go low to have any chance. But he was only one-under through the front nine, before a stellar four-under-par back nine, including an eagle on the short par-four 12th catapulted him into contention.

He chipped in on 12 and was able to make birdies on the par-four 10th and 16th holes to earn himself R2.2 million.

Fellow Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick began the day five off the lead in second place, but the young rookie faded to a 73 on Sunday, but will still cart off just over R400 000 for his impressive efforts.

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    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.


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