for quality writing

Ken Borland

Floyd’s game and mentality keep improving as she claims the lead 0

Posted on July 08, 2024 by Ken

KEMPTON PARK, Ekurhuleni – Young Kiera Floyd’s game and mentality seemingly improves with every event as she fired a wonderful five-under-par 67 on Thursday to claim the lead after the first round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Absa Ladies Invitational at Serengeti Estates.

Floyd has produced back-to-back top-10 finishes in her last two tournaments and also contended strongly in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt before an 84 in the final round saw her slip down to a tie for 15th place. The 19-year-old is also playing at her home course at Serengeti and there is certainly a lot of expectation that the prodigy can notch up her breakthrough professional win this week.

She successfully managed that external pressure, and also composed herself brilliantly after an unfortunate double-bogey at the 122m par-three fifth hole, not dropping another shot as she finished with seven birdies in all. Three of those came in her first four holes, before her mishap on the first par-three, and then a birdie on the par-five eighth was followed by three more on the back nine.

“I know there is a lot of expectation on me this week and I know there are a lot of people who want me to do well here, but I put all that to the side. I just played like I had not played the course before, I started like it was a fresh round on a new course this morning,” Floyd said.

“And I was very happy with the way I played. The double-bogey was a bit unlucky because I hit my tee shot into a bunker where there was no sand, and then played a bit of ping-pong over the green.

“But I came back nicely and I am really happy with my performance. Off the tee and my putting were the best parts of my game, I sank a few nice ones, which definitely helps. It was not easy out there, but I gave myself a lot more opportunities to make birdie. But it is just the first round and I need to keep going,” Floyd said.

The 2022 SA Women’s Strokeplay champion is one stroke ahead of fellow South African Casandra Alexander, who provided the sort of birdie-birdie finish to her round that had the spectators recording the action on their cellular phones.

The 24-year-old Alexander’s 68 also included a double-bogey, at the par-five eighth, but she immediately pulled a stroke back by making a birdie at the par-three ninth. She was level-par at the turn, but birdies at the 11th and 15th holes, and then her two threes to finish saw Alexander soar up the leaderboard.

In a momentous day in this season’s Sunshine Ladies Tour, every place in the top-five is filled by a South African, breaking the overseas dominance that has been apparent in the previous four events.

Perennial winner Lee-Anne Pace, Tara Griebenow and Stacy Bregman all shot 70s on Thursday to share third place. Another South African, Nicole Garcia, was leading on four-under through 10 holes, but she struggled to a 39 coming home, finishing her round on the front nine, to join a dozen other golfers on level-par 72.

Fired former CEO’s days of working in cricket not over 0

Posted on December 29, 2022 by Ken

Former Cricket South Africa acting chief executive Kugandrie Govender’s days of working in cricket were thought to be over after she was fired from the organisation for dishonesty and incompetence, but now Border Cricket want to appoint her as their new CEO.

Govender, who replaced Jacques Faul as acting CEO in August 2020 following the suspension of Thabang Moroe, was dismissed in July 2021. She was found to have lied in the disciplinary hearing that saw former Protea Clive Eksteen lose his job as CSA’s head of sales and sponsorship. In December 2020, the CCMA ruled that Eksteen had been unfairly dismissed.

Border Cricket’s efforts to shop around for a new CEO after Andile Mxenge was dismissed in June also saw them apparently consider former CSA board member Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw for the post.

But the affiliate’s decision to appoint Govender could not be more embarrassing for their mother body, especially since current board members and former staff are busy testifying against her in the CCMA case she has brought against CSA.

While the evolution of that labour hearing is still ongoing, CSA confirmed to The Citizen that they have expressed their concern to Border Cricket over Govender’s potential appointment.

“CSA has not been formally notified of the appointment of Ms Govender by Border Cricket. However, having become aware that this may occur, we have been in contact with Border Cricket to highlight our concerns that flow from the termination of Ms Govender’s employment with CSA, and in particular the on-going legal process at the CCMA,” Lawson Naidoo, the chairman of the board, said.

Border Cricket president Simphiwe Ndzundzu is a non-independent director on the CSA Board, but is a controversial figure who was being investigated for an alleged assault on two women related to a colleague, the former player and umpire Sinethemba Mjekula, at the time of his election.

Border Cricket did not respond to a request for comment.

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.

Springboks bounce back from 1st-half frustrations 0

Posted on August 15, 2022 by Ken

First-half frustrations

The Springboks put on a wretched first-half display as they returned to playing in front of a capacity crowd at home. And they only grew more frustrated as the Wales pack, splendidly cohesive and determined, stymied their rolling mauls and stood up in the collisions. The home side barely fired a shot despite enjoying enough territory and possession. The maul – largely nullified by Wales – and speculative kicks seemed to be their only attacking weapons.

Elton Jantjies had a particularly poor time. His kicks out of hand were often miscued, including one penalty that went touch-in-goal. He also missed a couple of shots at goal and spilled the ball that led to Rees-Zammit’s second try.

Wales, on the other hand, were clinical in punishing whatever mistakes the Springboks made in their own half, with rampant wing Louis Rees-Zammit scoring twice.

Back from the dead, impetus from the bench

Trailing 3-18 at halftime and wondering where their next points would come from, the Springboks certainly came out with fire in their bellies, no doubt after a roasting from coach Jacques Nienaber.

Their maul was revitalised thanks to greater purpose, but especially because they introduced some variation with peels off the side to split the Welsh defence.

Willie le Roux had replaced Elton Jantjies from the start of the second half and brought some direction to the backline. But the real difference came up front where the bomb squad forwards came on and smashed. The lift in intensity was palpable and debutant Elrigh Louw made a storming run into the shadow of the poles to help set up Cheslin Kolbe’s crucial try.

Dependable Damian, desperate Dan

With Jantjies off, South Africa did not really have an ace goalkicker on the field for the second half, but Damian Willemse stepped up admirably. Solid in general play at fullback and then rotating well with Le Roux at flyhalf, as well as providing some slick attacking touches, Willemse kicked two conversions, including one from the touchline, which was crucial in a tight game.

Never mind his moment of glory, stepping up to take the angled penalty after the final hooter that won the game and spared the Springboks’ blushes after they conceded a maul try to a pack that had two forwards in the sin-bin.

This year has seen the talented Willemse blossom as a highly dependable performer.

Wales captain Dan Biggar, by comparison, had an evening that rivalled Jantjies’ for awfulness. He seemed to be having a running battle through the match with the Springboks and the referee, was yellow-carded in the second half, and then it was his deliberate knock-on which gave South Africa their matchwinning penalty.

Wiese: Prim and powerful

Eighthman Jasper Wiese was a deserved man of the match. One of the few Springboks to shine in their disjointed first half, he was a phenomenal ball-carrier, averaging four metres per carry, and made some crunching tackles. It was also most pleasing that all his ferocity did not come at the cost of his discipline. Wiese has conceded several penalties in the past, but on Saturday night he was prim and proper and kept his nose clean.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.

↑ Top