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Ken Borland



Henry keeps her round on track to win as crosswinds whizz around Fancourt 0

Posted on March 13, 2024 by Ken

GEORGE, Western Cape – With crosswinds whizzing over the Montagu fairways on the back nine, Kylie Henry was best able to keep her round on track as she sealed a two-stroke victory in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt on Sunday.

Henry was two strokes off the lead at the start of the final round, but the other leading contenders spluttered along on the third day. Even though the Scotswoman went out in one-over-par 37, a string of six successive pars on the back nine saw her claim a share of the lead with Ana Dawson, who had led after both the first and second rounds.

And then, as the pressure mounted and Dawson missed some crucial putts, Henry pounced with key birdies on the par-four 16th and 18th holes. It was her first professional win since 2014, when she won twice on the Ladies European Tour, and the 37-year-old said she was delighted to get back on the winner’s podium after a couple of tough years.

“It means so much to me, I have been playing for a long time, this is my 15th season on tour. But the last couple of seasons have been really tough. I broke my elbow and then last year was just very difficult for me personally and my golf suffered as a result,” Henry said.

“To get my golf game back makes me so happy. It was tricky out there today, there were a lot of crosswinds on the back nine, and I knew I just had to commit to my shots. I managed to keep doing that and I sank some good putts as well.”

Henry was tied for second with Alexandra Swayne going into the final round, and Swayne had a level-par front nine on Sunday, but her back nine was a car-crash with a run of double-bogey, bogey, bogey from the 11th hole. She finished tied for ninth on six-over-par after an 80.

Dawson, despite dropping shots on the 11th and 12th holes, was just one shot behind Henry when she teed off on the final hole. But she drove into the trees, and then ricocheted off another tree trying to come out with her second. Eventually she had to settle for a bogey-six, which left her in a tie for third on level-par with Romy Meekers, who fired an outstanding 67, the best round of the day by four shots.

There were birdie chances available for Dawson in the middle of the back nine, but she had struggles with her putter.

Local stalwart Lee-Anne Pace stepped up on the final day by shooting a level-par 72 and getting herself into contention. She once again eagled the par-five ninth and also birdied the 18th, but Henry did not give her an opening and Pace had to settle for second place on her own, on one-under-par.

Zondo able to marry experience with fighting spirit 0

Posted on December 20, 2023 by Ken

Khaya Zondo was able to marry the experience he has in domestic cricket with a fighting spirit as he top-scored for the Proteas on another torrid day in their Test series against Australia on Saturday, and he is confident that he and his team-mates can do it again on Sunday’s final day to save the third Test in Sydney.

Zondo scored a career-best 39 in nearly two hours at the crease as South Africa struggled to 149/6 in the two sessions that were able to be played on the fourth day. That means they are still 127 runs short of avoiding the follow-on; they are likely to have to bat through 98 overs on Sunday, but they do have 14 wickets in hand on a pitch that demands watchfulness but is far from a minefield.

Zondo shared partnerships of 48 with Temba Bavuma (35) and 45 with Kyle Verreynne (19).

“We have one day to bat, we have done it before so I’m sure we can do it again,” Zondo said after stumps on the penultimate day at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The pitch is like the one in Pietermaritzburg, so it’s familiar to me as a Durban player.

“It’s not quick, there’s turn every now and then and it’s not reversing a lot. They are just using the crease and creating angles. The short ball doesn’t get up, so that is the only challenge from the perspective of facing the seamers. You’ve got to watch it and play instead of trying to get under it.

“The conditions dictate how you must play, whether the ball is turning or not, the pitch is quick or slow; and Temba and I felt out there that we needed to be quick on our feet, whether we were coming down the wicket or going back in the crease. Certain shots are better options,” Zondo said.

Although he is 32-years-old, Zondo’s sole real experience of Test cricket has been against the powerful English and Australian attacks, away from home and in often testing conditions for batting. His Test debut against Bangladesh last April came as a Covid substitute on the final day when South Africa had already completed their batting. His seven innings have now brought 120 runs at an average of 20 – figures that suggest he is worth persevering with, especially when compared to the returns of some of his colleagues who have been given more opportunity.

The Westville Boys’ High School product is feeling positive about his prospects, a mood he said is shared by his team-mates in the changeroom despite their miserable time in Australia.

“I’ve only had a short international career, I’ve only played England and Australia at their homes and those are two top attacks,” Zondo said. “But it’s been a good experience.

“It’s comforting to know that I am able to play against the best and hold my own. It’s just about spending more time at this level and then hopefully I can dominate one day.

“If I’m selected more, then I have to make sure I perform to play every game. The last year has been challenging, but if you can get through that then you can play at this level.

“For me it’s about taking every opportunity, playing as much cricket as I can get. If it’s first-class cricket, then I must go there and nail that; if it’s SA A games, then I must nail that,” Zondo said.

Williams cashes in on Leopard Creek par-5s & ever-growing confidence 0

Posted on December 07, 2023 by Ken

Robin Williams tees off on the par-four ninth hole in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

Robin Williams was able to cash in on the par-fives and his own ever-growing confidence as he soared to the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the co-sanctioned Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek on Thursday.

Williams birdied three of the four par-fives on the scenic course on the border of the Kruger National Park, on his way to shooting a phenomenal seven-under-par 65, enough to give the England-based golfer a one-stroke lead.

Starting his round on the back nine also helped Williams because three of the par-fives are on that stretch, and he went to the turn on a very promising four-under. Back-to-back birdies on the par-five 15th and par-three 16th built on earlier gains on the par-four 11th and the famous par-five 13th hole overlooking the Crocodile River.

Williams birdied the first and par-five second holes as well, before his one and only dropped shot, on the par-four third hole with its strategically-placed bunkers and sloping green. But the 22-year-old finished in style with birdies on the sixth and eighth holes, continuing the impressive form he has shown in his first full season on the Sunshine Tour, after his maiden victory in October’s Fortress Invitational at Glendower.

“It was pretty fun out there today and I played well,” Williams smiled on an overcast and cool day in Malelane. “I didn’t really hit the ball in the rough although I was in a few furry spots. The greens were a lot firmer and quicker than I think everyone expected after all the rain, but I took advantage of the par-fives.

“Since that first win, I’ve gained masses of confidence over my last half-dozen tournaments on the Sunshine Tour. The courses are tougher and more penalising in these co-sanctioned events, but it’s been about adapting and learning. I probably put more pressure on myself than anything external, so I still need to handle that and my emotions, it’s not just your game you have to think about out there.

“But today is another massive confidence boost, I can now say I shot 65 around Leopard Creek, no-one can take that away from me and I can sleep happy tonight,” Williams said.

Williams grew up in Peterborough and came through the English amateur system, but he was born in South Africa and plays under that flag.

There were other outstanding South African performers in the top-10 of the leaderboard on Thursday, showing that we have some exceptional talent coming through.

Jayden Schaper, who acquitted himself so well in the final group of the South African Open last weekend at Blair Atholl, bounced back from that disappointment with a superb 66 to share second place with Spain’s Manuel Elvira.

Casey Jarvis was also quickly back on the horse after fading at Blair Atholl as he fired a 67, a score matched by two of the most exciting amateurs in the system, Christiaan Maas and Christo Lamprecht. They share fourth place on five-under with a more experienced South African in Jaco Prinsloo, New Zealander Samuel Jones and Scott Jamieson, the Scotsman who loves Leopard Creek and shared the lead going into last year’s final round, before finishing in a tie for 12th, having fired a course-record 63 on the second day.

“I know this course very well and where to leave it,” Schaper said after collecting seven birdies and making just one bogey. “So I kept it on the right side of the fairways and greens, I just kept it simple and tried to have the best angles coming in.

“I’m just sticking to my game-plan, my game has been good and I just want to keep it the same. It’s a clever course, you can’t go directly at the flags, you have to be careful of the run-offs and look at your angles,” the 22-year-old Schaper said.

Bulls & Stormers can drive buses through opposition defences, but tight derby expected between them 0

Posted on June 13, 2023 by Ken

There have been United Rugby Championship games where both the Bulls and Stormers have been able to drive buses through the opposition defence, but when last season’s finalists meet in a massive derby in Cape Town on Friday night, a tight spectacle is expected by the visitors.

Both teams were amongst the leading try-scorers last season and have thrived on counter-attack, with exciting back threes carrying the ball back to great effect. But Bulls fullback Wandisile Simelane said on Tuesday that he expects swarming defence to be a key feature of Friday’s humdinger.

“Any South African derby is always going to be difficult because we really study each other well,” Simelane said. “Games like these are great to be part of and it’s where you test yourself.

“I assume it’s going to be a tight match, a momentum game and putting points on the board will be crucial. I expect the defences to rush up on the faster guys, but opportunities will still come.

“If we don’t get five or six chances like usual, then there will be one or two and we have to make sure we make them really count. It’s about how well we execute in those one or two moments.

“Momentum will be very vital, we can’t throw the ball away, keeping it for a few more phases will be very beneficial. We mustn’t throw 50/50 miracle passes,” Simelane said.

While the romantics would love the match to be decided by a Simelane sidestep or a piece of Manie Libbok magic, the reality is it is the forwards who will have the key roles; from the tremendous platform laid by evergreen Stormers props Frans Malherbe and Steven Kitshoff, to the bruising gainline presence of Elrigh Louw and Marco van Staden that can leave opponents purple and pink.

Some big oaks have departed the Bulls kraal, but the shrubs that are coming up in their place show great promise. In the white-heat of battle, the 24-year-old Simelane knows being able to control and manage the contest will be crucial.

“Hopefully we will be calm enough to control the game and our game-managers can put us in the right positions. We love having ball-in-hand on attack, using our natural instincts, but there is a thin line between relying on natural instinct and building pressure through being more conservative,” Simelane said.

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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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