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Ken Borland



Jarvis is doing what the DJs say: ‘Keep your feet on the ground & reach for the stars’ 0

Posted on January 03, 2024 by Ken

Casey Jarvis

“Keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars” was the catchphrase of famous American radio DJ Casey Kasem, also used by renown South African disc-jockey David Gresham, and although it comes from a time well before Casey Jarvis was born, it aptly describes what the rising star is doing on golf courses around the world at the moment.

Jarvis, who turned 20 in July, is currently firmly in the mix for the South African Open title at Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate and, at the end of a breakthrough year for one of the most decorated amateurs in local history it is his mature, measured approach that has caught the eye.

It was noticeable from the second round when the SA Open organisers began using devilishly tricky pin-placements and an inconsistent, shifting wind picked up, how adept Jarvis was at not taking on the ‘sucker-flags’ and finding the best places on the greens.

Jarvis has game, of that there can be no doubt given his stellar CV, but he also has the priceless attribute of a level head. It is that strong mentality that saw him notch his first overseas win as a professional in Austria in his last couple of weeks as a teenager, as part of his dominance of the Challenge Tour that led to him winning his DP World Tour card for the coming season.

The State Mines Country Club representative was in touching distance of the lead going into the 2022 Joburg Open at Houghton Golf Club, before fading on the weekend, but he says he is a different player to the one who left South Africa to take on Europe, and those changes were apparent as he soared up the leaderboard at Blair Atholl.

“Playing overseas is so difficult, the courses in Europe are so different to back home here in SA and you’ve got to really learn how to manage your game. I’ve learnt so much since last year’s Joburg Open,” Jarvis said.

“The Challenge Tour taught me not to be as aggressive. I learnt patience – I don’t need to hit it to five feet on every hole, which I used to want to, because my putting is good enough. I don’t need to attack all the flags, I don’t need to go for every par-five in two, I must just make sure I am straight off the tee-box.

“You’ve got to manage your game and I think I’m doing that really well this week. I can still be aggressive when I need to be and I’m happy that it all seems to be coming together,” Jarvis said.

Born in Boksburg on July 28, 2003, Casey David Jarvis has a biography that makes for riveting reading.

In 2020 he won both the South African Strokeplay Championship and the South African Amateur Championship before claiming the Freddie Tait Cup for the leading amateur at that year’s South African Open. It was a treble only achieved twice before, by the legendary Bobby Locke in 1935 and by Neville Clarke, who beat Ernie Els to those amateur crowns in 1989 but only turned pro in his senior years because he had a successful career as an electrical engineer.

If Jarvis now goes on to win the SA Open at Blair Atholl, he will join Locke, an eight-time champion who also won four British Open Championships, in rarefied air.

Jarvis’s amateur career also included winning the Junior World Cup with the South African team in 2019 as well as the African Amateur Championship back-to-back in 2021 and 2022. In 2020 he was named the America-based AmateurGolf.com Men’s Player of the Year despite not playing College golf.

Jarvis was last season’s Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year following a season in which he also became the second-youngest golfer globally to shoot a 59 on a major tour, which he achieved at the prestigious Players Championship at Dainfern.

For such a seasoned winner, triumphing on the Challenge Tour did not come easy for Jarvis, but he showed his character with his win in Austria because it came after back-to-back runners-up finishes just a month earlier in the Czech Republic and Copenhagen.

But there is a cautionary tale in flesh at Blair Atholl of young superstars burning themselves out, in Matteo Manassero, also strongly contending for the title. The Italian won three times on the European Tour as a teenager before losing his card in 2019. Now aged 30, he is back on the DP World Tour.

“There are many things that led to my struggles, but one of the most important is that I definitely became focused on results and forgot about the process and what worked for me,” Manassero told Rapport.

“Once you start going down that spiral of needing results week after week, it gets in your head and you neither improve your game nor your results. If your game is good enough week in, week out, then your results will come.

“But expectations can mean you are only focused on results and it is easy to fall into that trap. ‘Am I improving?’ should be your only focus, not making cuts, not keeping your card, not being top-50 in the world. Those are important goals but they are not the most important thing,” Manassero warned.

Fortunately, even though Jarvis admitted the Austrian win did buck him up after the two close misses, he said winning the SA Open on Sunday will not be his be-all and end-all.

“I’m just going to stick to what I’m doing, my golf feels good and I’m very comfortable and relaxed on the course, like a social round. I will just try to stay patient.

“It’s a big mental thing. I forced it for those second-place finishes, I really wanted to win and I just put more pressure on myself when there’s already enough pressure on you.

“I took a step back in Austria and just tried to go out and see what happened. I’ve learnt not to put so much pressure on myself because then I don’t play the way I want to. After finishing second so many times, to get it done was a good feeling. But I really did not expect to be doing these things when I was still so young.

“If I don’t win the SA Open, I would have learnt a lot,” Jarvis said.

You can tell Pink Day was a grave disappointment when … 2

Posted on December 17, 2023 by Ken

Arshdeep Singh was the destroyer of the Proteas batting at the Wanderers on Pink Day.

You can tell Pink Day was a grave disappointment at the Wanderers on Sunday when even India’s bowling hero, Arshdeep Singh, sounded a bit disappointed that no Proteas batsman could pose any serious challenge to him at a venue that used to be famous for spectacular batting exploits.

South Africa, choosing to bat first, were bundled out for just 116 in 27.3 overs, their lowest ever ODI total at home, with Arshdeep doing the bulk of the damage with career-best figures of five for 37 in his 10 overs.

The left-arm quick rocked the Proteas early with back-to-back wickets in his first over, the second of the innings, as he bowled Reeza Hendricks off the inside edge and then trapped Rassie van der Dussen lbw, both batsmen out for ducks on their home ground.

Tony de Zorzi led a slight shift in momentum as he scored 28 off 22 balls before being caught behind off Arshdeep in the eighth over, leaving the home side 42 for three. With Avesh Khan getting in on the action with brilliant figures of 8-3-27-4, South Africa then lost four wickets for 31 runs as they crashed to 73 for eight.

Avesh also took two wickets in two balls when he bowled Aiden Markram (12), also playing on, and then trapped Wiaan Mulder lbw, making it a team hat-trick as Arshdeep had bowled Heinrich Klaasen (6) at the end of the previous over with a lethal delivery that jagged back to hit the top of leg-stump.

That South Africa made it to 116 was thanks to Andile Phehlukwayo, whose defiant 33 came off 49 deliveries and included a couple of sweetly-struck sixes.

A used pitch – the same one that the Proteas batting crumbled on in the midweek T20 match – that offered considerable lateral movement, was not was expected on Pink Day, which is usually a pretty miserable day for bowlers.

Arshdeep sounded a little disappointed that the hype did not live up to expectation.

“I went to dinner last night with Axar Patel and Avesh and we were talking about how brutal the Proteas are on Pink Day, just hitting sixes all the time. We actually spoke about hopefully trying to restrict them to less than 400,” Arshdeep said after his man-of-the-match performance.

“But there was a bit of moisture in the pitch and it was also a bit up-and-down. The plan was really simple, to hit good areas and try and extract that movement, get nicks and lbws.”

There may be some questions over why groundsman Brendon Frost, who served for many years at Benoni’s Willowmoore Park, used a used pitch for the showpiece Pink Day occasion and also why it broke with tradition by being so bowler friendly. But according to the Central Gauteng Lions, the Proteas actually asked for the same pitch used for the T20 game.

But India’s brilliant bowling and South Africa’s meek failure to adapt meant their own attack barely had a chance to defend their meagre total. That became no chance when debutant Sai Sudharsan (55* off 43 balls) and Shreyas Iyer (52 off 45) added 88 for the second wicket.

The Proteas eventually bended the knee with 200 balls remaining in the match, surely their worst ever display on Pink Day and one that left a large but not capacity crowd mostly only halfway through the vats of booze they were hoping to consume.

South Africa batting coach JP Duminy did not exude any bitterness about the conditions and did not want to be drawn into a discussion of whether such pitches are good for ODI cricket, especially on important occasions like Pink Day. He said it was up to a batting line-up that, De Zorzi apart, has plenty of experience, to adapt better.

“In ODI cricket, you want a good competition between bat and ball. In the first phase of the game, the ball did a lot more than expected. We did expect it to do something, we make decisions based on previous information and we know at the Wanderers that if you get through the new ball then batting becomes easier,” Duminy said.

“Yes, conditions played a role today, but that can never be an excuse, we still have to find a way. Credit to the Indian bowlers, they bowled particularly well, but we need to understand the options that are there in those conditions.

“The batting has been pretty consistent for a period of time, but now we need to take accountability, our execution will always be judged and now is a time for reflection,” Duminy said.

With the match all over, done-and-dusted by 2.15pm, the Proteas certainly left themselves plenty of time for post-mortems.

Oosthuizen shows the pedigree to jack up his game when required 0

Posted on December 11, 2023 by Ken

Louis Oosthuizen finally gets his hands on the trophy at Leopard Creek.
Photo: Ken Borland

When Charl Schwartzel drew level again on the 12th hole, Louis Oosthuizen knew his great friend and rival was not going to go away in the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship, and he realised he would have to jack up his game if he hoped to win the famous Leopard Creek trophy for the first time.

Showing his big game temperament, Oosthuizen played beautifully through the middle of the back nine, reeling off three straight birdies from the 13th hole. It meant he went into the daunting last three holes with a three-stroke lead, and he needed it in the sodden conditions.

Finding a fairway bunker on the par-four 17th led to a bogey, and then his drive on the par-five 18th found the water down the right, creating an exciting finish as four-time champion Schwartzel was just off the green in two. Oosthuizen laid up his third well, and then nervelessly rolled in a tricky 18-foot putt for par to seal a two-stroke victory, his closing 69 taking him to 18-under-par.

“I knew I had to play well because Charl plays very well around this place and Christiaan Bezuidenhout started well too. Fortunately I made a few putts in the middle that let me get ahead because this is such a good finishing course, you need to hold on and it’s tough to be aggressive,” Oosthuizen said after his first win since his memorable SA Open triumph in 2018.

“I was a bit in-between what to do off the 18th tee and I had to make par the hard way, because Charl hit a good drive and I knew he would go for the green in two. It wasn’t much fun after that tee-shot, but it feels good now!”

After Sunday’s play was limited to just seven holes for the leading group by thundershowers, Schwartzel started shakily on Monday with bogeys on the par-four eighth and 10th holes. But he would trade those in for back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th holes to draw level again. But six successive pars then followed as Schwartzel was just not quite sharp enough to put more pressure on Oosthuizen, closing with a 71 for 16-under-par.

Moving beyond the ins and outs of their respective final rounds, perhaps Oosthuizen was due to win at Leopard Creek, given his pedigree and how badly he wanted the title after twice finishing second.

“Since first playing in this event in 2004, this has been one of the tournaments I’ve always wanted to win, but it took me a while. Like the SA Open, which was my last win, I had to wait a while and now I’m very happy. It’s really special to win here, maybe I should play more in South Africa.

“I was very focused because I really wanted to win and I felt my game was good enough to do it and I’ve been putting well enough. But it was just a fight and I had to make it count with the putter in the end,” Oosthuizen said.

A beautifully curled-in 35ft birdie putt on the 14th hole was the 41-year-old’s highlight on the greens on the final day.

Bezuidenhout shot a four-under 68 to ensure he was always a lurking presence in the final round, eventually finishing third on 14-under-par.

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SA rugby forever bonded with Kitch’s ‘high or low road’, but Jake says it’s too early for that 0

Posted on September 05, 2023 by Ken

South African rugby will forever be bonded with Kitch Christie’s famous ‘high road or the low road’ scenario before the 1995 World Cup triumph, but Bulls coach Jake White says it is still too early to consider his team as being at a similar crossroads ahead of their crunch United Rugby Championship match against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Coach Christie said it was crucial that the Springboks beat defending champions and favourites Australia in the opening match of the 1995 World Cup and take the “high road” through the tournament; defeat would mean the “low road” requiring victories over England and New Zealand before the final. South Africa pulled off a sensational 28-18 win, setting them up for an unbeaten run through the tournament they hosted.

The Bulls, having lost last weekend to the Stormers in Cape Town, are now five points behind the defending champions in the South African Shield, having played an extra game. If the Sharks beat the Bulls with a bonus point at Kings Park, then they could be within another bonus-point win of the Pretoria side, with a game in hand.

But White, who has called the late Christie his mentor, is not stressing about the log at this stage.

“We’re not at the high road or low road point yet and it’s not a do-or-die game,” White said on Friday. “It’s still so open, although we do know Leinster are the pace-setters, they always have been.

“We beat the Sharks with a bonus point at Loftus, and if the Sharks beat the Stormers twice and we win this weekend, then we would be favourites again to win the conference.

“There are still a lot of permutations between now and the end of the tournament, and not every team will win every game at home. Winning a couple of matches away is the premium.

“But we will be up against one of the strongest provincial sides, although one thing I enjoy about the URC is that a team can beat anyone on any given Saturday. That’s exciting,” White said.

Nine current Springboks is what the Bulls, who will field Johan Goosen at fullback and Chris Smith at flyhalf, are up against. The combination of Smith and Goosen played in the pivotal game-management positions when the Bulls beat the Sharks 40-27 at Loftus Versfeld at the end of October, which is why White has made that selection again.

“The last time we played the Sharks we did that and it worked well, and we didn’t have Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie then,” White said. “It means we have two kickers and two passers and can move the ball away from flyhalf.

“I’ve heard it might rain in Durban too and the Sharks don’t play much in their own half, they have a good kicking game and Makazole Mapimpi is very good in the air.

“But it’s not just a reaction to them, it worked for us at home and it gives us two guys who understand how we want to play. It’s important that Bernard van der Linde can also kick with both feet at scrumhalf,” White said.

Bulls:Johan Goosen, Canan Moodie, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Chris Smith, Bernard van der Linde, Elrigh Louw, Cyle Brink, Marco Van Staden, Ruan Nortje (c), Ruan Vermaak, Mornay Smith, Johan Grobbelaar, Simphiwe Matanzima. Bench -Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Gerhard Steenekamp, Sebastian Lombard, Janko Swanepoel, Nizaam Carr, Embrose Papier, Lionel Mapoe, David Kriel.

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  • Thought of the Day

    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.

     



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