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Ken Borland



Jamieson entrances Leopard Creek, the course he loves most 0

Posted on December 09, 2022 by Ken

As much as Scott Jamieson delights in playing at Leopard Creek, so much did his golf entrance those watching as he fired a course-record 63 on Friday to claim a three-shot lead after the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

The 39-year-old Scottish golfer, who was on four-under after the first round, three behind leader Dean Burmester, came charging up the leaderboard on the front nine, which was definitely playing tougher than the back nine.

Jamieson birdied the par-five second hole, but the real fireworks began when he started a run of four successive birdies from the par-three fifth hole.

Turning in 30 shots, Jamieson then produced a hat-trick of birdies from the 12th, again a par-three. That gave him the outright lead and a birdie on the 17th was just icing on the cake.

“This is my favourite week of the year, I just love this place and I did not know about the course record but it’s a special place to hold it,” Jamieson said after reaching the halfway mark of the tournament on 13-under-par.

“It was just one of those days when almost everything clicked, even though we are perfectionists so it always feels like we leave one or two shots out there.

“The back nine is generally where you score here, so when I went five-under on the front I knew I was in the pound seats and you just have to make sure you don’t get complacent, you have to keep your foot on the pedal.

“I got on a run where I was able to sink almost every putt I looked at, which is a wonderful feeling. I holed some crucial par putts as well, which kept momentum on my side, and it’s always nice to go bogey-free.

“The Driver was more under control today and I gave myself a lot of opportunities to hit it close, and with the rain, the greens were holding. I had good swings, I hit my targets and my putter got really hot,” Jamieson explained.

While the stunning Leopard Creek Country Club is Jamieson’s favourite office in which to work, South Africa in general has been a very happy hunting ground for the Glaswegian who now lives in Florida.

Jamieson’s lone DP World Tour triumph came at the weather-shortened Nelson Mandela Championship at Royal Durban GC in 2012, and in terms of world ranking points, the two best performances in his career have also been in South Africa – runner-up finishes in the 2017 Nedbank Golf Challenge and the 2013 Volvo Golf Champions at Durban Country Club.

“100% my best performances have come in South Africa. I think it’s mostly to do with the grass type, I always enjoy playing on Kikuyu.

“They’ve changed the grass here to Cynodon [indigenous to South Africa], and I really enjoy that too.

“I’ve played this tournament several times and I feel that I’ve learnt a lot about the course. I expect it to get a lot harder on the weekend and hopefully I can use my experience to stay on top,” Jamieson said.

Three more foreigners are tied in second place on 10-under-par.

Frenchman David Ravetto completed back-to-back 67s on Friday, while Eddie Pepperell fired six birdies on the back nine for a 65.

But the other most outstanding round of the day came from another Englishman, Nathan Kimsey.

The winner of last season’s Challenge Tour order of merit was on nine-under for his round, including two eagles on the front nine, when he reached the par-five 18th.

Feeling that he had been too defensive in the first round, when he shot 70, Kimsey brought an aggressive approach to his play on Friday and so, even though his drive on the last hole was in the semi-rough, he still decided to go for the island green.

Unfortunately he overshot the green and landed in the water, finishing with a bogey and a 64, which was the course record until Jamieson overtook it an hour later.

There are four South Africans on nine-under-par, four behind Jamieson.

MJ Daffue started on the 10th and reached the turn on just two-under, but the USA-based player was fantastic on the front nine, going four-under in his last seven holes to sign for a 66.

First-round leader Burmester had five birdies but also three bogeys he described as “basic mistakes” as he scored a 70 on Friday, but Oliver Bekker (66) and Dylan Mostert (65) were both clinical in moving themselves into contention for the weekend.

Canadian Aaron Cockerill was also one of the stars of the second day, firing a 65 to also go into the weekend on nine-under.

Marakele National Park 0

Posted on December 23, 2021 by Ken

The spectacular Kransberg towers over the Marakele plains

The amazing thing about the Marakele National Park is you drive through the entrance gate into the Acacia bushveld – areas of dense dry thornbush interspersed with more open grassy or shrubby areas – just over a thousand metres above sea level, seeing arid country specials like Pied Babbler and Great Sparrow; and less than 20 kilometres away you can be in the mountainous vegetation, reminiscent of the Drakensberg, of Lenong Peak, at an altitude of more than 2000 metres.

From the arid woodlands of the western parts of the park, one is transported into a different world of low cloud and windswept grassland with almost alpine vegetation and four different species of Proteas.

There is a viewpoint at the end of the Lenong Drive, making the daunting single-lane mountain pass along a concrete track all the more worthwhile.

We had already seen Cape Vulture, soaring high overhead, the third bird we saw driving through the entrance gate earlier that morning, after bushveld regulars Chinspot Batis and Southern Black Tit.

But apart from stunning scenery, the Lenong viewpoint, at an altitude of 2039m, also provides the most convenient view of the Cape Vulture breeding colony: at about 800 breeding pairs it is one of the largest in the world for this threatened raptor.

It is both a serene and exhilarating sight to see these large scavengers floating and wheeling around the cliffs across a valley to the south-west of the viewpoint.

Just as thrilling was to discover an inquisitive pair of Buffstreaked Chat hopping around the small rocks at our feet. This striking bird is a familiar resident of the more moist Drakensberg grasslands and this population in the Waterberg is isolated.

They were joined by a male Mocking Chat, standing proud with his glossy black plumage glistening in the sun, Cape Rock Thrush and busy Cape and Cinnamonbreasted Rock Buntings on the ground.

But it was the Chats that stole the show and my wife Lauren gave the spot the entirely fitting name of ‘Chatty Corner’.

Mocking Chat

Descending down the mountain, there was still another high-altitude specialist waiting for us in the form of a Striped Pipit, at 1791m above sea level (a.s.l.), which flew off the road and into the grass and rocks alongside.

Red Hartebeest were also enjoying the lengthy highveld grasslands close to the road.

Descending still further down the hairpin bends of Lenong Drive, at 1375m a.s.l., the rocky outcrops and shrubby grassland is ideal habitat for rock thrushes, but it was still unexpected to come across the Short-Toed Rock Thrush, which is apparently only sporadically found in the Waterberg. But there it was with just a hint of white flecking on the forehead and, of course, the blue-grey mask stopping at the throat rather than on the breast as in Sentinel Rock Thrush.

I was relieved to only come across our first Elephant once we had returned to the plains, with their open tree savanna and rich grassland around the wetlands, along with patches of thicker woodland. I have had the misfortune of having to reverse down the steep narrow pass at pace while being chased by one of those behemoths, which is far from a peaceful experience.

Heading back to our rustic but very comfortable thatched chalet at Griffons Bush Camp, one heads back along the base of the very mountains that not so long ago we were summiting.

The thornbush shrubland and deciduous forest, which is rather dry in May, starts to give way to more moist savanna in the shade of the cliffs. Passing through areas with more substantial understorey, I was delighted to see the secretive Coqui Francolin, South Africa’s smallest francolin.

Back at Griffons, we were given a warm welcome by Foxy the tame Meerkat, who doesn’t mind a scratch but does have quite a nip on him!

The broadleaved woodland around Griffons is a good place for bird parties foraging through the canopy and lower down, and seeing White Helmetshrike and Greyheaded Bush Shrike clicking and working their way up from the ground to the crowns of the trees, was a highlight, as was the presence of a Striped Kingfisher.

Sightings List

Chinspot Batis
Southern Black Tit
Cape Vulture
Forktailed Drongo
Blackbacked Puffback
Warthog
Southern Boubou
Cardinal Woodpecker
Brubru
Great Sparrow
Crested Barbet
Pied Babbler
Blue Waxbill
Black Flycatcher
Southern Masked Weaver
Tsessebe
Blue Wildebeest
Plains Zebra
Yellowbilled Hornbill
Giraffe
Ostrich
Goldenbreasted Bunting
Arrowmarked Babbler
Blackeyed Bulbul
Grey Lourie
Rock Martin
Chacma Baboon
Cinnamonbreasted Rock Bunting
Buffstreaked Chat

Buffstreaked Chat
Cape Bunting
Cape Rock Thrush
Mocking Chat
Streakyheaded Canary
Striped Pipit
Red Hartebeest
Familiar Chat
Yellowfronted Canary
Short-Toed Rock Thrush
Elephant
Rattling Cisticola
Striped Kingfisher
Helmeted Guineafowl
Impala
Nyala
White Helmetshrike
African Hoopoe
Coqui Francolin
Greater Kudu
Speckled Mousebird
Yellowthroated Sparrow
Meerkat
Greyheaded Bush Shrike
Cape White-Eye
Redbilled Woodhoopoe
Glossy Starling

Van Wyk enters & steers Dolphins through tricky times to handy lead 0

Posted on December 17, 2015 by Ken

 

Captain Morne van Wyk made his entrance at a tricky time for the Dolphins and steered them to a handy first-innings lead on the second day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Unlimited Titans at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.

Van Wyk came to the crease midway through the second session with the Dolphins on 149 for four replying to the Titans’ first innings of 267. The veteran wicketkeeper/batsman batted through to the close of a day shortened by a thunderstorm, reaching 76 not out and taking the visitors to 314 for six, a lead of 47.

Van Wyk and his younger brother Divan were the two Dolphins batsmen who really played like adults, getting in and making it count, and their partnership of 70 for the fifth wicket was key.

Opener Divan van Wyk, blossoming this season after only sporadic previous Sunfoil Series appearances, batted for just over five hours in scoring 87, while Morne has been at the crease for three-and-a-quarter hours.

Having leaked 51 runs in nine overs at the end of the first day, the Titans bowlers came roaring back on the second morning through Ethy Mbhalati.

Imraan Khan had looked in superb touch as he raced to 32 not out overnight, but to the visitors’ frustration he then chased a delivery outside off stump from Mbhalati and was caught behind in the second over of the day for 36.

Mbhalati then bowled Khaya Zondo for one and a fired-up Marchant de Lange cleaned up Cody Chetty for 16.

The lanky Mbhalati added a third wicket after lunch when he had Daryn Smit caught behind for 16, while left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe bowled both Divan van Wyk and Andile Phehlukwayo (10). But the Titans could not dissimulate their frustrations at the end of the day as Morne van Wyk and Calvin Savage (36*) then added an unbeaten 81 for the seventh wicket against the second new ball.

*An excellent batting display by the bizhub Highveld Lions has put them in control of their match against the Chevrolet Knights in Bloemfontein, with the visitors scoring 320 for four to already lead by 72 runs.

Neil McKenzie was on 72 not out, playing a wonderful innings and having stroked 12 gorgeous fours, while Dominic Hendricks belied his tender years with 71, Rassie van der Dussen raced to 70 and Temba Bavuma just added to the Knights’ frustration with 57.

*At Newlands, Richard Levi and Justin Ontong roared to half-centuries as the Nashua Cape Cobras took control of their match against the Chevrolet Warriors, reaching 316 for three at stumps, in reply to the visitors’ 288 all out.

While Levi belted 79 with 14 fours and Ontong had raced to 75 not out off 98 balls at stumps, Omphile Ramela was the baking powder that allowed the Cobras to produce such a good cake, batting for four-and-a-half hours and reaching 81 not out at stumps.

The Warriors had started the second day on 274 for eight, but Rory Kleinveldt reduced them to 288 all out by blowing away the last two wickets and finishing with four for 59, the same figures as Dane Paterson.

 

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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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