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Ken Borland



Floyd’s game and mentality keep improving as she claims the lead 0

Posted on July 08, 2024 by Ken

KEMPTON PARK, Ekurhuleni – Young Kiera Floyd’s game and mentality seemingly improves with every event as she fired a wonderful five-under-par 67 on Thursday to claim the lead after the first round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Absa Ladies Invitational at Serengeti Estates.

Floyd has produced back-to-back top-10 finishes in her last two tournaments and also contended strongly in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt before an 84 in the final round saw her slip down to a tie for 15th place. The 19-year-old is also playing at her home course at Serengeti and there is certainly a lot of expectation that the prodigy can notch up her breakthrough professional win this week.

She successfully managed that external pressure, and also composed herself brilliantly after an unfortunate double-bogey at the 122m par-three fifth hole, not dropping another shot as she finished with seven birdies in all. Three of those came in her first four holes, before her mishap on the first par-three, and then a birdie on the par-five eighth was followed by three more on the back nine.

“I know there is a lot of expectation on me this week and I know there are a lot of people who want me to do well here, but I put all that to the side. I just played like I had not played the course before, I started like it was a fresh round on a new course this morning,” Floyd said.

“And I was very happy with the way I played. The double-bogey was a bit unlucky because I hit my tee shot into a bunker where there was no sand, and then played a bit of ping-pong over the green.

“But I came back nicely and I am really happy with my performance. Off the tee and my putting were the best parts of my game, I sank a few nice ones, which definitely helps. It was not easy out there, but I gave myself a lot more opportunities to make birdie. But it is just the first round and I need to keep going,” Floyd said.

The 2022 SA Women’s Strokeplay champion is one stroke ahead of fellow South African Casandra Alexander, who provided the sort of birdie-birdie finish to her round that had the spectators recording the action on their cellular phones.

The 24-year-old Alexander’s 68 also included a double-bogey, at the par-five eighth, but she immediately pulled a stroke back by making a birdie at the par-three ninth. She was level-par at the turn, but birdies at the 11th and 15th holes, and then her two threes to finish saw Alexander soar up the leaderboard.

In a momentous day in this season’s Sunshine Ladies Tour, every place in the top-five is filled by a South African, breaking the overseas dominance that has been apparent in the previous four events.

Perennial winner Lee-Anne Pace, Tara Griebenow and Stacy Bregman all shot 70s on Thursday to share third place. Another South African, Nicole Garcia, was leading on four-under through 10 holes, but she struggled to a 39 coming home, finishing her round on the front nine, to join a dozen other golfers on level-par 72.

Schaper well-bronzed after a sweltering day at Blair Atholl … & with the SA Open lead 0

Posted on December 02, 2023 by Ken

Jayden Schaper during the third round of the South African Open at Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate.
(Photo by Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour)

Jayden Schaper is fairskinned and baby-faced, but he came off the Blair Atholl course on Saturday looking well-bronzed after a sweltering third round of the South African Open. More importantly, he also headed for a cold shower with a marvellous 67 and a share of the lead.

The 22-year-old Schaper started the SA Open in solid fashion but under the radar as he posted back-to-back 70s to sit with the pack of 10 other golfers in 15th place. But on Saturday when temperatures in the mid-30s and wicked pin-placements combined for the toughest round yet, he stood tall and emerged as the frontrunner, along with compatriot and buddy Ryan van Velzen, for the third oldest national title in golf.

And his third round did not even start auspiciously as he bogeyed the par-five first hole. But thereafter he was tremendously controlled as he collected consecutive birdies on the fourth and fifth holes and another at the par-four ninth to reach the turn on three-under.

He then birdied the three par-fives on the back nine – the 10th, 13th and 18th holes – to finish on nine-under-par.

Van Velzen, seven months younger than Schaper and also hailing from the East Rand, followed up his stunning 65 in the second round with a solid 70 on Saturday. He made a blazing start with three birdies in four holes from the second, but a couple of bogeys followed, before his only other birdie of the third day, on the par-three 17th.

South Africans could well dominate the podium after Sunday’s final round, with Louis de Jager (70) one behind on eight-under and Dean Burmester in a tie for fourth on seven-under after a terrific 65.

Whoever adapts best to what is expected to be another ferocious test at Blair Atholl on Sunday will take the spoils, and there is a dangerous overseas contingent, led by a resurgent Matteo Manassero (-7) also scrapping for the prestigious title.

“I have some good memories of this course and this event, but today it was a brute,” a sweating Schaper said shortly after his round. “It’s very long with massive greens and it was cooking today with a dry heat that fried the greens and made things even trickier.

“I would have taken a 67 with both hands at the start of the day. I just tried to keep focused, my hands dry and my body hydrated. It was never going to be too easy making birdies today. It’s a tough course and on moving day you expect some easy pin positions and the tee-boxes being moved forward so guys can make some birdies. But it was just the opposite today and it was brutal.

“I caught a few glimpses of the leaderboard and you just try to keep yourself in it. I’ve been in a lot of positions like this, you learn from them and now it feels pretty much normal. You always want to win your national open and this would be an awesome one to make my first pro win,” Schaper said.

The prevalent view of the leaders was that patience is going to be key on a testing final day.

“The biggest thing I’ve learnt in the last year is that golf is about patience,” Schaper, one of the rising stars of South African golf, said. “I’ve based my game on consistency and I’m more than happy to have top-10s every week.

“Because of my strong junior and amateur careers, I definitely know I can handle the pressure on Sunday. Golf is about constantly growing and developing and the more experience you get, the more comfortable you feel out there,” Schaper said.

“You have to play smart golf, stay very patient and be fine with making pars out there,” Van Velzen said. “Don’t go chasing birdies with those tough flags because that’s how bogeys are made.”

Coetzee says there’s no magic recipe for winning golf, but he enjoyed more than a few ounces of inspiration 0

Posted on January 31, 2023 by Ken

ST FRANCIS BAY, Eastern Cape – George Coetzee says there is no magic recipe for winning golf, but the 13-time champion on the Sunshine Tour enjoyed more than a few ounces of inspiration on Saturday as a bogey-free 67 carried him back to the top of the leaderboard after the penultimate round of the PGA Championship at the St Francis Links.

Two birdies on the front nine and three coming in, two of them back-to-back on the 12th and 13th holes, lifted Coetzee to 11-under-par for the tournament and he is one stroke clear of Rhys West, who shot a 68.

Second-round leader Casey Jarvis posted a 71 on Saturday and is on nine-under-par, together with Stefan Wears-Taylor (67), Jake Redman (68) and Hennie Otto (69).

“It wasn’t really my plan to not get any bogeys, I just wanted to play good golf,” Coetzee said. “This course has some teeth and you have to pick those parts where you can be aggressive and where you can’t be aggressive.

“I think I balanced that out quite well, I made pars on the tough holes and birdies on some of the easier holes. Being experienced is more about what you do than what you know.

“But it does help that I am more conservative on a course that I don’t know that well, I kind of stick to how the course wants me to play.

“I think only Tiger Woods really knew how to win, the rest of us are all learning as we go along. I’ve won a few tournaments, but there’s no pattern to it, no magic recipe,” Coetzee said.

Overnight leader Jarvis had two eagles on the front nine, on the par-five third and then holing out with his second on the par-four fifth hole, but after a double-bogey six on the par-four 15th he surrendered the lead to Coetzee.

There are also four golfers on seven-under-par who will be chasing after glory in the final round on Sunday – last week’s winner of the Vodacom Origins of Golf final Combrinck Smit (66), Luke Jerling (67), Peter Karmis (67) and Martin Vorster (71).

But after all the titles he has won, including the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series event at De Zalze in August, the 36-year-old Coetzee has clear aims for the final round.

“I will just be trying to make good decisions, try to play decent golf and be excited about playing under pressure,” Coetzee said.

Coetzee seemingly cruises to a 67, but says it was a struggle 0

Posted on January 30, 2023 by Ken

ST FRANCIS BAY, Eastern Cape – George Coetzee shot a five-under-par 67 with just two bogeys to seemingly cruise into a share of the lead after the first round of the PGA Championship, but the multiple winner on both the Sunshine and DP World Tours said it had actually been a struggle on a typically testing day at the St Francis Links on Thursday.

Coetzee began his round with a bogey on the par-four 10th, but then went to the turn with four birdies. On the front nine, his only other drop came on the par-four fifth, with birdies on either side of it, and the 36-year-old completed his round with an excellent birdie on the par-four ninth.

Coetzee, who won the 2011 PGA Championship at Country Club Johannesburg after finishing runner-up the year before, is tied for the lead with Danie van Niekerk, the 34-year-old Lichtenburg golfer who produced a brilliant bogey-free round with three birdies on the front nine, after he also started on the 10th.

“It was definitely tricky out there and I’m happy with my score,” Coetzee said. “All-in-all, I’m happy just to be in the mix and to be in a good rhythm. I made a lot of putts on my last nine holes when it was really quite tricky, and that kept my scorecard together.

“But it was a hairy last bunch of holes into the wind,” Coetzee said.

The winner of a second consecutive Vodacom Origins of Golf Series De Zalze title when he last played in South Africa in August, Coetzee said that his two bogeys had come from a lack of familiarity with the seaside course.

“My two bogeys were basically down to a lack of knowledge of the course, taking the wrong club off the tee or playing to the wrong part of the green, like on my second on the 10th hole. Hopefully I learn quickly and make better decisions tomorrow,” Coetzee said.

The top-10 on the leaderboard at the end of the first round is filled with experienced or in-form golfers that will ensure Coetzee and Van Niekerk are kept on their toes.

Jake Roos and Hennie O’Kennedy are one shot behind on four-under with Casey Jarvis, JJ Senekal and Rhys West.

Hennie Otto, who was the runner-up in the PGA Championship in both 2002 and 2008, is with Stefan Wears-Taylor and Samuel Simpson on three-under.

The PGA Championship is South Africa’s second-oldest professional tournament and Otto would dearly love to add that title to his 2011 SA Open win at Serengeti Estate.

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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.



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