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Ken Borland



Kreuzer able to make winning birdie putt 2nd time round 0

Posted on May 13, 2024 by Ken

Helen Kreuzer was able to make the 10ft putt for birdie on the first playoff hole that she had missed shortly before in regulation play on the par-five 18th, giving the German her first professional title as she won the Fidelity ADT Ladies Challenge at the Blue Valley Golf Estate on Friday.

Kreuzer reached the 72nd hole on 12-under-par, back-to-back threes on the par-four 16th and 17th holes seeing her catch up with Tina Mazarino at the top of the leaderboard. But while the missed putt forced her to settle for par and a playoff with the Norwegian, Kreuzer was then able to take advantage of the wide fairways at the Gary Player design, and went for the green in two after a great drive, which would have pleased him.

“I hit a really good drive on the first playoff hole on 18 and decided to go for it with a three-wood. I was just off the green and I managed to get up-and-down, sinking the putt I missed for birdie during my round,” Kreuzer explained afterwards.

“It’s my first professional win so I feel amazing, the only other thing that comes close is maybe winning the national championship at college with Lynn University.”

With Mazarino producing a brilliant round of 65 to overtake those who had set the pace after the first two rounds, Kreuzer had to play at her best to catch the 23-year-old.

Kreuzer was superb on the front nine, playing in the final group with leader Ellen Hutchinson-Kay, going out in just 30 strokes. She began her round birdie-par-eagle and further birdies on the fifth, eighth and ninth holes saw her grab the lead.

But she then suffered a double setback when she bogeyed the par-four 10th and 11th holes.

“I was really on top of my game, hitting the ball close and my putter was hot. Ellen also played really well on the front nine, and it was good to be in the final group with her because that kept me going and I always felt I needed a few more birdies to get ahead of her.

“But then on 10 there was a very tough pin, I hit my approach a little long and bogey was not the end of the world there. And then on 11 a three-foot par putt just lipped out. You then have to tell yourself to stay in the moment and keep playing,” Kreuzer said.

The 25-year-old from Frankfurt certainly showed her mettle with that late pair of birdies.

“I was really excited about playing in the final group and keen to see what the day would bring. It was a great group, we had a lot of fun and all enjoyed ourselves, just taking it shot-by-shot. I was very pleased to pull through for the win. It was a big achievement, and now being able to play in the two Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned events on the Sunshine Tour is what I came for,” Kreuzer said.

While Hutchinson-Kay reached the turn on 11-under, she struggled on the back nine with bogeys on the 11th and 14th holes leaving her in third place.

Another German, Verena Gimmy, made a late charge up the leaderboard with a scintillating 64 to finish in a tie for fourth on eight-under-par with compatriot Carolin Kauffmann (69) and leading South African Kiera Floyd (68).

Pretoria Country Club’s Danielle du Toit also had an excellent final day, shooting a 66 to share seventh place on seven-under with Romy Meekers (69) and Ariane Klotz (72), who was second going into the last round.

Malik keeps ball on the fairways & putts well for 1st win on foreign soil 0

Posted on April 15, 2024 by Ken

SUN CITY, North-West – India’s Tvesa Malik claimed her first professional title on foreign soil as she kept the ball on the fairways and putted well to win the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International by three strokes at the Lost City Golf Club on Friday.

Malik began the final round as co-leader with 2022 SuperSport Ladies Challenge champion Paula Reto, and the 28-year-old produced the sort of controlled golf required on the last day to clinch titles. Malik made just two bogeys, one on each nine, but collected three birdies to post a one-under-par 71 and finish on nine-under overall.

It was a round that none of the other contenders could better.

“I was very consistent off the tee which was vital because the fairways are tight and really firm. The greens are big so hitting from good positions on the fairways is fine and my putting is what I was most pleased with. I gave myself several opportunities and I hit so many good putts that just did not go in. But then 10-foot birdies on the 11th and 16th holes were really important,” Malik said.

“I just wanted to focus today and not get too wrapped up in every shot being do-or-die. I just tried to stay stable mentally and not stress too much about making birdies. I am thrilled and relieved to have my first pro win outside India.”

First-round leader Lauren Taylor drew level with Malik as she collected two birdies on a faultless front nine, but the Englishwoman saw her chances go up in smoke when she came home in 41 shots with three bogeys and a double drop on the par-four 16th.

Reto found herself on a sinking ship on the front nine, as she double-bogeyed both the second and sixth holes to go out in 40. The South African fought back on the back nine to come home in 35 shots and finished third on five-under-par.

Young Gabrielle Venter once again showed that her game has the equipment to be a title contender on the Sunshine Ladies Tour as she claimed second place on six-under-par with a 71, moving up to third on the official order of merit.

Lee-Anne Pace is second in the overall standings after charging up the leaderboard in the last two rounds of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, finishing in a tie for fourth at Lost City on four-under after a 71 on Friday. England’s Amy Taylor vaulted up to four-under as well after posting a 68, the joint best round of the day. Germany’s Helen Kreuzer (71) was the other golfer tied for fourth.

Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am winner Kylie Henry is still top of the order of merit, despite finishing tied for 32nd, on six-over-par, at Lost City.

Taylor focuses on first & foremost being herself in 1st round, & finishes in 1st place 0

Posted on April 05, 2024 by Ken

SUN CITY, North-West – England’s Lauren Taylor concentrated on first and foremost just being herself in the opening round of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International at the Lost City Golf Course on Wednesday, and it paid off as she finished in first place on the leaderboard.

Taylor fired a four-under-par 68 to enjoy a one-stroke lead over Vanessa Knecht, Ana Dawson, Pasqualle Coffa and leading South African Kaleigh Telfer.

The 29-year-old Taylor played the back nine at Lost City first, and made the perfect start with birdies on the first three holes and another on the 15th. A bogey-birdie finish to the back nine saw Taylor go out in 32, and she then came home in level-par thanks to a birdie on the ninth making up for a bogey on the par-five seventh.

“I was just trying to be myself out there and take it hole by hole,” Taylor said. “It was a good day. I made a hot start, it’s always nice to get three birdies first up, so then I just tried to keep being aggressive.

“All parts of my game were pretty good, but the best part was that I hit every fairway. My irons were also good and that’s always a good combo which will always give you chances. So I was hitting good shots and making birdies.

“I still gave myself some chances on the front nine but I just didn’t hole the putts. But I was very happy to finish with a birdie. I was feeling confident after a good week at Fancourt in the Dimension Data Pro-Am, but anything can happen in golf and you never know how it’s going to be on the day,” Taylor said.

The in-form Dawson, who led for most of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am before eventually finishing tied-third, continued her fine form, her 69 including just one bogey – on the par-three 13th.

Telfer, who enjoyed an excellent Sunshine Ladies Tour campaign last year, posted five birdies with two bogeys to position herself just behind the leader.

Two South Africans – 2022 champion Paula Reto and amateur Isabella Ferreira, were two strokes back after shooting 70s, along with Romy Meekers of the Netherlands and Sweden’s Ellen Hutchinson-Key.

Ferreira also started on the back nine and reached the turn on one-over-par, but she was excellent on the front nine, collecting three birdies.

Smith has reason to smile as 2nd season of SA20 takes cricket further from ugly place 0

Posted on March 04, 2024 by Ken

South African cricket was in an ugly place before the arrival of the SA20, and now that the second season has proven to be just as exciting as the first, commissioner Graeme Smith has reason to smile.

The former Proteas captain was certainly a happy man this last week as he got stuck into the post-mortems of the event that once again enjoyed tremendous crowd support, threw up more fantastic cricket, and was once again won by the Sunrisers Eastern Cape.

“In two years we have built something South African cricket can be really proud of. At the end of 2022, we were all looking for something positive. Now people are raving about the SA20,” Smith told Rapport.

“The feedback from the players, the teams and the fans has been extremely positive. The actual cricket played was probably the greatest strength of the tournament, teams and individuals really came to the fore and it was very exciting. And we will never take for granted the number of people who came to the grounds and turned on their tellies to watch.

“Mondays and Tuesdays are the toughest days to get a crowd, but to see the people come and support was fantastic, we were still 65% full on those days. And then from Wednesday to Sunday the crowds were incredible. The final weekend of league action was probably my favourite time because the crowds were amazing and it was tense cricket,” Smith said.

The success of the SA20 has certainly disturbed the cricketing landscape. Australia’s Big Bash League, which this year overlapped with the SA20 because it finished on January 24, is apparently feeling the heat. There has been talk of them bringing their auction forward to try and get the cream of the cop and making players sign guarantees that they will be available for the complete tournament. Smith has heard other rumours, but is not flustered by the competition.

“I hear rumours that the Big Bash will move to December. But those players who sign for them will still have options; those players who initially backed us I will always be grateful to.

“We will look at things like pre-signings and our auctions, but the timing of the auction will depend on what we deicide about pre-signings.”

But it is the International League T20 in the United Arab Emirates, which had its final on Saturday, which is causing the greatest ruction when it comes to these rapidly-spreading franchise leagues.

“We’ve built up our SA20 against the Big Bash and the ILT20 sitting right on top of us, so there are a thousand more positives for us than negatives. We obviously want some high-quality overseas players, but our tournament definitely has a local player base.

“But the ILT20 consumes too many overseas players; they require nine foreign players in an XI. So it’s not really an investment in UAE cricket. That also puts them up against the ICC, who passed a ruling that franchise T20 leagues are only allowed up to five overseas players. They gave the ILT20 an extended time to sort it out because they said they had existing broadcast deals,” Smith said.

With the Sunrisers Eastern Cape once again dominating the SA20, questions were asked as to why they don’t get home ground advantage in the playoffs. But the nature of the tournament, with this season’s qualifiers only decided after the last round-robin match, means it is logistically near-impossible to give the top two teams home fixtures.

A short, one-month tournament is what the SA20 is all about, and only deciding who will host the final at the end of the event would require nearly a week to be added to the schedule in order to satisfy the logistics of making the last game a real extravaganza and fitting finale.

“We’re trying to keep the tournament short and exciting, four or five weeks maximum. The SA20 is a massive ship to move logistically and it’s very difficult to do that in one day. We have to sell tickets for the final and brand the stadium properly …

“The final was sold out two weeks before the game, which is a real sign of success. We understand the fans want to see their team play in the final at home, but the format will probably stay the same. The IPL have a very similar set-up with neutral venues for the final, it’s like Champions League football as well. Like this year, we’ll probably give the winners the opening game next season,” Smith said.

Apart from stimulating the economy – Smith pointed out how airports around the country have been full of SA20-connected people for the last month – the successful league has also planted the first seeds of what will hopefully be a hugely successful 2027 World Cup in South Africa.

“The SA20 means that there should be a lot of high-quality people who have worked on an event of similar level to the 2027 World Cup. We’ve given them incredible experience of working under high pressure to very high standards, it’s a really high-performance environment. Our staff have made me proud and I want to see an outstanding World Cup here in 2027,” Smith said.

Given his success in setting up and driving the SA20, what chance Smith for the tournament director role in the new organising company CSA have just registered?

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    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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