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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).

Bremner takes the route less travelled into the lead 0

Posted on October 28, 2022 by Ken

SOUTHBROOM, KwaZulu-Natal – Merrick Bremner’s front nine was littered with birdies and bogeys as he took the route less travelled into a share of the lead after the first round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf San Lameer on Thursday.

Bremner finished with an excellent 66 to share the lead on six-under-par with six other golfers, but none of Wynand Dingle, Ockie Strydom, Herman Loubser, Matthew Spacey, Doug McGuigan or Sean Bradley made quite as dramatic a start to their round as Bremner.

The 36-year-old from Bremner made par on the 498-metre par-five first hole, but then the rollercoaster ride began with two birdies being followed by a bogey at the par-three fourth, another pair of birdies before a second dropped shot on the par-four seventh, and then a birdie-four and a birdie-two to go out in just 32 strokes.

Bremner’s back nine was far more sedate as he was bogey-free and picked up back-to-back birdies on the par-four 12th and par-five 13th holes.

“It was definitely quite an eventful front nine,” Bremner agreed. “But it was tricky because I would hit a good shot and still end up with bogey, but I gave myself lots of chances.

“I’m definitely very pleased with the round because I had a couple of weeks off and it was nice to return in a rich vein of form,” Bremner said.

A man as experienced in coastal conditions as Bremner, who grew up in Durban and has won down the road at the Wild Coast Sun and in the 2019 Vodacom Origins of Golf Series event at Humewood, was not going to be troubled by the wind on Thursday, which in any case was more predictable than the blustery gales that blew on Wednesday.

“I wasn’t too fazed by the wind blowing, even though it was weird – it felt stronger than it was. But I like it when it blows a bit, it separates the field.

“I just execute my game-plan and take what comes. I definitely feel like my game is trending in the right direction, and it seems I now have the right mix in terms of when to play and when to rest,” Bremner said.

Strydom had the chance to finish the day as the sole leader on seven-under-par, but he bogeyed the par-three ninth hole, his last.

Spacey, the 31-year-old from Dainfern, started birdie-birdie but then finished twice as well with four successive birdies from the 15th hole to shoot up the leaderboard into the seven-way tie for the lead.

As McCallum tore through the front nine, it was testament to her comments on player wellness 0

Posted on October 10, 2022 by Ken

DULLSTROOM, Mpumalanga – When Tandi McCallum tore through the front nine at Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate on her way to a seven-point victory in the Sunshine Ladies Tour section of the Vodacom Origins of Golf ProAm, one could not help but cast one’s mind back to the evening before the first round and her comments as she spoke about how sports performance coach and mental wellness therapist Joanne Mountford has helped her regain peak form.

Mountford, who has been working with the South African women’s hockey team for their World Cup and Commonwealth Games campaigns, is also the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s coach and therapist for the player wellness programme sponsored by BetWay. Because Vodacom firmly believe that Health is Wealth, Mountford was invited as the keynote speaker for the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series ProAm at Highland Gate.

McCallum was on hand to back up Mountford’s methods, and her ProAm victory in the Dullstroom mountains was her third in a row, testament to the success of the player wellness programme.

“It’s crucial to understand what makes you tick, and Jo’s programme makes it very apparent what functions best in your game. If you’re always working on what you’re not good at, then you kind of end up chasing your tail,” McCallum said.

“It’s about consistency and how I manage myself and what I’m good at. It’s about keeping on track and staying in the flow with myself. She has given me techniques I can tap into that lead to better results.

“It had been a while since I had won and I felt like a bridesmaid for three years, getting into contention several times but then just not pushing through. You always find that there are one or two shots down the stretch that make the difference.

“As golfers, we know the value of each and every shot, but you also don’t want to put yourself under pressure. So when your thoughts start running away with you, that’s when I use Jo’s breathing techniques,” McCallum said.

As all golfers know, it can be the most frustrating of hobbies for those who play it socially, but imagine the pressures when it is your livelihood.

“It’s actually very difficult to just play one shot at a time, you can’t help but think about how winning might change your life, extend your playing privileges, get you into certain tournaments etc,” McCallum said.

“So it’s about staying in control of your thoughts and emotions for 18 holes. When I won again, I was leading by three and I was thinking ‘it’s great to be here’, but I was very nervous.

“You need reassurance that what you are doing is working and something as simple as controlling your breathing can get you over the line,” McCallum said before putting it all into practice and sweeping to another victory.

“I try and give the golfers actionable goals so they can stay focused in the moment,” Mountford explained. “I try and help them get rid of anything that hinders, like even perfectionism, which can be great, especially in a golf swing, but there can be a point where you need to let go, otherwise the mind can be very destructive.

“Pressure leads to anxiety, which feeds your sympathetic nervous system which activates fight or flight. So I work with their breathing so they activate their parasympathetic nervous system, which brings their heart and breathing rates down,” Mountford said.

Donald two ahead of Fisher midway through front nine 0

Posted on January 14, 2015 by Ken

Luke Donald held a two-stroke lead over Ross Fisher midway through the front nine on the third day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City on Saturday.

The Englishman had played solidly, avoiding trouble through his first six holes, and he added one birdie to his tally when he found the middle of the green on the 195-metre par-three fourth hole and sank a lovely 20-foot putt.

Englishmen held the top three places on the third-round leaderboard, with Fisher gaining a stroke and moving to nine-under-par, while Danny Willett was in great touch, picking up three birdies in seven holes to move to eight-under-par.

Alexander Levy, playing in the final three-ball with Donald and Fisher, also birdied the par-three fourth, but found himself in trouble on the third and sixth holes, the Frenchman dropping shots on each to slip back to fourth place on five-under-par.

Three golfers were in a tie for fifth on four-under: South African hope Charl Schwartzel, an inspired Thongchai Jaidee and Germany’s Marcel Siem.

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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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