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Ken Borland

Hutchinson-Kay recovers from rollercoaster front nine to claim outright lead 0

Posted on May 10, 2024 by Ken

Sweden’s Ellen Hutchinson-Kay recovered from a rollercoaster front nine to come home in bogey-free three-under and claim the outright lead after the second round of the Fidelity ADT Ladies Challenge at the Blue Valley Golf Estate on Thursday.

Hutchinson-Kay, a product of the American College system, graduating from the University of Mississippi, shot a wonderful five-under-par 67 in the penultimate round to move to nine-under-par overall, two shots ahead of Frenchwoman Ariane Klotz.

The 25-year-old Hutchinson-Kay had a dramatic opening nine holes with a bogey, a double-bogey, three birdies and an eagle to reach the turn on two-under. But she showed her temperament with back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th, and then a birdie on the par-five 15th to ensure the lead was her’s alone. After the first round, Hutchinson-Kay shared top spot on four-under-par with England’s Georgia Coughlin and South African Kiera Floyd.

Hutchinson-Kay dropped her first shot on the par-three second, but then went racing into the lead with a run of birdie-birdie-eagle, making a three on the par-five fifth. But the 344m par-four seventh then proved her downfall as she made double-bogey.

Once again she bounced back, however, with a birdie on the par-three eighth and it was smooth sailing thereafter for a golfer who is taking her first steps into European golf and is in her first full year as a professional.

Coughlin endured an even more hellish time, going out in 40 with five bogeys and a lone birdie on the third, and things were no better coming home as she signed for an 80 with three more bogeys and a double on the par-four 14th. Not even a birdie at the last could save her from missing the cut.

Klotz dominated the Gary Player design, also shooting 67 and not dropping a shot in a superb display of controlled golf. Germany’s Helen Kreuzer was in third place a shot further back on six-under, after a 68 that had just one bogey, on the par-four 16th.

Germany’s Carolin Kauffmann (70) and Norwegian Tina Mazarino (68) shared fourth place on five-under-par.

Floyd went out in 34 despite making two bogeys, but she slipped down the leaderboard with three drops on the back nine, before a birdie at the last lifted her to four-under, in a tie for sixth with consistent Dutchwoman Romy Meekers and the other leading South African, Stacy Bregman (70).

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.

Mostert produces bogey-free back nine for maiden Sunshine Tour title 0

Posted on July 22, 2022 by Ken

IRENE, City of Tshwane – Dylan Mostert showed great mental composure and produced a bogey-free back nine for his maiden Sunshine Tour title on Sunday, as he won the KitKat Group ProAm at Irene Country Club by three strokes.

Mostert shot a fantastic 68 in the final round for a 17-under-par total of 199, three clear of MJ Viljoen (67), to become the fourth first-time winner on tour this season.

A bogey on the par-five second hole made for a nervous start for the left-handed Mostert, but he showed he was up for the challenge when he chipped in for birdie on the third in superb fashion on the undulating green.

Malcolm Mitchell went out in three-under 33 to make for an exciting challenge for Mostert, but the 23-year-old from Modderfontein Golf Club birdied the ninth and then produced a fabulous hybrid approach shot from under the trees, in the dirt, finding the middle of the 10th green and then sinking the putt for birdie for some breathing space.

“I hit some great shots that were really important for me to change the momentum,” Mostert said. “I had just made bogey on two and I was not in a great spot next to the third green, I was just hoping for an up-and-down at best. And then on 10, that was like a one-out-of-10 shot to pull off.             

“A whole bunch of things came together, but it’s definitely my mental game that made the most difference, my main focus was on staying neutral upstairs. Since finishing second in the Blue Label Challenge at Sun City last year, I’ve been working on that with Theo Bezuidenhout.

“I now have a different mindset because before I was up and down with birdies and bogeys. Now it’s about making good decisions and good swings. That builds confidence and belief.

“I probably hit the ball 10 times better when I finished second, but now I know where to miss,” Mostert said.

Further birdies at the 12th and 17th holes meant he was partitioned by three shots from Viljoen, five clear of the dangerous Louis Albertse (70) and half-a-dozen strokes ahead of Kyle Barker (67) and Ryan van Velzen (71) by the end of the R1 million tournament.

Mitchell fell away with a horrible double-bogey at the 14th followed by bogeys on the next two holes as well, finishing on nine-under-par.

In the separate pro-am competition, Viljoen’s joint-best round of the day of 67 allowed himself and Japie Holtzhausen to claim the title on 19-under-par, two ahead of Madalitso Muthiya and Nash Soni, and Hennie O’Kennedy and Moe Mitha, on 17-under.

Brown produces the near-perfect round needed to win the Blair Atholl Champs 0

Posted on December 06, 2021 by Ken

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng (24 October) – It took the near-perfect round for Luke Brown to win the Blair Atholl Championship delivered by The Courier Guy on Sunday and the 23-year-old duly produced a bogey-free 67 to claim his first Sunshine Tour title.

Two shots off the lead and having never won on the main tour before, Brown also had to conquer one of the longest courses in the world and multiple winners like Ulrich van den Berg, Trevor Fisher Junior and Neil Schietekat.

And a blustery, shifting wind was an added challenge.

But Brown showed remarkable composure and tremendous skill as he compiled one of the few bogey-free rounds all week and collected five birdies as well to finish on 12-under-par.

“They say your first one is the hardest to win and it was definitely very difficult today, but that was one of the best rounds of my life. It was breezy and difficult to choose the right club for these pin positions. But my ball-striking was amazing today, I hit all 18 greens in regulation, which is wonderful on the third longest course in the world.

“My putting was also solid and if you keep the bogeys off your card on an amazing course like this, then you’re going to be tough to beat. I definitely had to stay patient, you might feel like you should be making more birdies, but it’s not that easy on this course. I tried not to look at what the others were doing,” Brown said.

The leading three-ball of Trevor Fisher Junior, Ulrich van den Berg and Louis Albertse all birdied the par-five first hole, but they were then jerked back to reality as the rest of the final round became a struggle.

A double-bogey on the par-five seventh was a fatal blow for overnight leader Albertse, while Van den Berg double-bogeyed the par-four 12th and dropped four more shots coming home in 43. Fisher Junior had three successive bogeys on the treacherous stretch of long par-fours from 14 to 16 and closed with a double-bogey 7 at the 18th.

Schietekat was moving in the other direction, however, and birdies on the last two holes gave him a 67 and the clubhouse lead on 10-under-par.

Keagan Thomas fired a 69 to finish third on nine-under, while Anton Haig and Albertse tied for fourth on eight-under.

Thriston Lawrence shot a remarkable 64 to catapult into sixth place on seven-under.

But it was Johannesburg-based Brown who ended a popular winner by two strokes, having learnt the harsh lessons from the KitKat Championship at the start of the season when he squandered a five-shot lead in the final round.

“I was thinking about the KitKat Championship on the 17th and I always wanted to get back into that position. The leaderboard swings up and down and it’s difficult to keep track of, so I’d rather not worry about that. From that experience I learnt to be more patient because I felt I should have won that one.

“I felt my game was close to getting back to that level in the last month, but I just focused on getting on the green and giving myself a chance at least. It shows how tough the Sunshine Tour is that it’s taken me so long to win when I’ve been playing well,” Brown said.

Scores –

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