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Ken Borland



Dawson cleans up her game after rocky start to move 2 clear 0

Posted on March 12, 2024 by Ken

GEORGE, Western Cape – Ana Dawson moved two shots clear at the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt on Saturday, managing to clean up her game after a rocky start, posting an excellent three-under-par 69 to move to four-under overall.

With the terrible weather of the opening round clearing, scores were lower at both the Montague and Outeniqua courses on Saturday. Alexandra Swayne also shot a 69 to move to two-under-par alongside Scotland’s Kylie Henry (70) in second place.

Dawson, who led by one after a 71 in the first round, began her round on Montague on Saturday with two bogeys in the first three holes, although she did birdie the par-three second.

The 22-year-old from the Isle of Man was much tidier thereafter, however, not dropping another shot until the par-four 15th. In between, Dawson birdied the sixth, ninth and 11th holes. She then brought a big finish as she birdied the par-four 16th and par-five 18th holes to end the day in prime position going into the final round.

South Africans Kiera Floyd (70) and Cara Gorlei (69) also did well on the Montague course to be tied for fourth on one-under, but there is a new local challenger in contention in veteran Lee-Anne Pace, who won this tournament in 2014 when it was down the road at George Golf Club.

Pace fired a fine 69, with six birdies and three bogeys to join her compatriots on one-under-par. The highlight of her round was an eagle-three on the ninth hole, while she also birdied the sixth and 10th holes. Her only bogey came on the par-four 14th.

Venter keeps the door closed on his rivals as he shoots 69 0

Posted on October 05, 2022 by Ken

PRETORIA, Gauteng – Albert Venter led by four strokes after the first round of the SunBet Challenge hosted by Time Square Casino at the Wingate Park Country Club and the 26-year-old ensured he kept the door closed on his rivals in Thursday’s second round as he posted a solid three-under-par 69 to stretch that advantage to five strokes.

Venter will head into the final round on 12-under-par for the tournament, having shot a brilliant 63 in the first round.

There was a blustery wind in Pretoria on Thursday, just the sort of conditions in which a golfer could blow a lead on the hard and fast greens of Wingate Park, and Venter began his round cautiously, being level-par, with a birdie and a bogey, through his first eight holes.

But he was then able to tear around the turn with three birdies in the next four holes. Six straight pars coming in on the front nine completed a round which could only be considered a success.

“The wind picked up a lot today so my first few holes were not too bad. It was definitely trickier today to figure out which way it was blowing. Because the course is tree-lined, it swirls around a bit,” Venter said.

“There were quite difficult decisions to make over which irons to play. But we predicted the wind would pick up and the plan was to get my score as low as possible to build a bit of a cushion.

“Thankfully I kept my head in the game and managed to get a decent score. I can’t control what the other golfers do, but I am in a really good position,” Venter said.

On a hard day to shoot a really low score, Estiaan Conradie (69) and Jean Hugo (68) have done really well to position themselves as Venter’s closest challengers, on seven-under-par.

Luke Brown produced the round of the day, a 66 that included seven birdies to join Ruan Korb (70) on six-under for the tournament.

Venter won the Zimbabwe Open in May for his maiden Sunshine Tour title and will be able to learn from that experience in Friday’s final round.

“The big thing about winning is trying to get into those positions more and more, trying to get used to the atmosphere and nerves you face on the final day,” the Silver Lakes golfer said.

“I’ve been in quite a few situations like that in the last few years, although I wouldn’t say I’m experienced. But I’ve been in the situation before and I know how to deal with the nerves and the adrenaline.

“I can’t get ahead of myself, I have to stay patient and stick to my guns,” Venter said.

Rourke keeps the door closed with an inspired putting display 0

Posted on July 11, 2022 by Ken

SUN CITY, North-West – Rourke van der Spuy kept the door firmly closed on multiple Sunshine Tour winners Hennie Otto and Louis de Jager as another inspired putting display saw him shoot 69 in the final round of the SunBet Challenge hosted by Sun City to claim a three-stroke victory in the first event of the SunBet Series.

De Jager, who has won five times on tour, and Otto, who has a whopping 13 Sunshine Tour titles plus three on the European Tour, were Van der Spuy’s company in the final three-ball, breathing down his neck just one stroke behind the 32-year-old.

But Van der Spuy was unfazed, leading from start-to-finish in the final round. He made an early statement with birdies on the second and third holes, and even back-to-back bogeys on six and seven did not derail him. Birdies on the 10th and 11th holes put him back in command, and he sealed the deal with a fine approach into the middle of the 17th green and a 25-foot birdie putt.

“It was just about spot-on in terms of our planning. My coach and I said we would go for a score in the 60s, on a tough course like this that felt like it would be good enough,” a delighted Van der Spuy said.

“Something under-par was our target and I’m very proud to have broken 70. I had control of my game, even when Louis went on a good run on the back nine. That birdie on 17 was my most clutch putt of the day.

“I’ve been very good on the greens all week and my only slip-up was a three-putt on seven, but that was a very long putt.

“I’ve always thought, why not lead and be the frontrunner, even one shot counts at the end of the day,” Van der Spuy said.

It’s been four years between celebrations for the Durban Country Club golfer, whose previous Sunshine Tour wins were at the Mopani Redpath Zambia Open in 2018 and the Fish River Sun Challenge in 2015.

Making the occasion even more special was to be able to beat Otto, who finished in a tie for third, four shots back, after a level-par 72 on Friday.

“Playing with Hennie was a wonderful feeling because growing up, and when I started at the bottom of the Sunshine Tour, I looked up to him as a mentor. He is such an accomplished and successful golfer, and Louis as well. Today I realised some childhood dreams,” Van der Spuy said.

Ockie Strydom fired a 68, the low round of the day, to finish in a tie for fifth on three-under-par with JJ Senekal (71) and the in-form Louis Albertse (72).

De Jager finished in second place on his own, on five-under-par, after making 71 in the final round. But he did give Van der Spuy some cause for concern on the back nine as he collected three birdies.

But not even that could distract Van der Spuy from his goal.

Bavuma opening? That’s not the only weirdness we’ll see 0

Posted on September 12, 2016 by Ken

 

Temba Bavuma will open the batting on his ODI debut for South Africa in Benoni on September 25 having done that job in just two of the 69 List A games he has played in his career, but that’s not likely to be the only selection weirdness we see in the Proteas’ limited-overs teams this season.

That’s because, in order to meet the new quotas that will apply as an average at the end of the season across all three formats, it seems the national selectors will follow the sensible option of ‘loading’ the limited-overs teams in order to give themselves more leeway when it comes to Tests.

The targets they have to meet at the end of the season are 54% players of colour and 18% Black African players – measured as 27 matches with 11 players a side, therefore 297 individual playing opportunities, of which 161 must go to players of colour, including 54 appearances by Black Africans.

The last time Bavuma opened the batting in a List A match was actually in February, in the Lions’ Momentum One-Day Cup match against the Knights in Mangaung, when he scored just five before being caught behind off the evergreen Dillon du Preez.

Prior to that, the only time he had opened was back in March 2010 for Gauteng against Northerns in the CSA Provincial competition at the L.C. de Villiers Oval at the University of Pretoria. He scored 18 off 20 balls before being caught behind off Tumi Masekela. His opening partner that day was Grant Mokoena, and that’s not the only thing they have in common as they both scored sparkling centuries this week in the eKasi Challenge between the Lions and Titans at the Soweto Cricket Oval. Both hundreds were of sufficient quality to disprove the nonsense that there are no talented Black African batsmen around.

I am not criticising the quotas now imposed by Cricket South Africa at national level – I can see their need, I’m delighted that we are now being honest about them and don’t know how else much-needed transformation can happen at a reasonable pace – but I would like to point out that they are a double-edged sword.

While someone like Mokoena has undoubtedly benefited from the targets imposed at franchise level last season – he played more first-class matches than he had ever before and had his highest tally of runs as well as his best 50-over campaign – the other side of the equation is how established players like Bavuma could find themselves shifted into unfamiliar roles to fill gaps.

Is it fair on a wonderful craftsman like Bavuma, who showed against New Zealand how he has become a key figure in the Test line-up, to make his ODI debut in a once-off game batting out of position? The squad for the series against Australia that follows has already been named, so even if the 26-year-old scores a double-hundred against Ireland, Hashim Amla will take his place in the next game.

And what if Bavuma gets a good ball up front and is dismissed cheaply? What if he struggles to 12 off 38 balls on a Willowmoore Park pitch that can be tricky in the first hour? Will it dent the selectors’ confidence in him?

Bavuma has shown already that he has incredible mental strength so I don’t think it will dent his confidence, and he really is batting beautifully at the moment. When he gets on top of the bowlers as he did against the Titans in Soweto, he is a wonderful strokeplayer, but just as impressive is the tenacity he showed in the second innings of the second Test against New Zealand to score 40 not out.

Andile Phehlukwayo will also make his ODI debut later this month and he is a real talent for the future. Also gifted with a great temperament – as displayed in his excellent death bowling – he will also get a chance against Australia. If he does not immediately succeed in this tough first assignment at the highest level, I hope he is not tarnished with a reputation for not being up to it, seeing as though he is only 20 years old!

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    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.



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