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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.

SA unable to marry stellar defence with attacking edge 0

Posted on August 22, 2022 by Ken

South Africa were unable to marry their stellar defensive efforts with an attacking edge in the Women’s Hockey World Cup over the weekend, with defeats to Germany and Ireland in Amstelveen condemning them to the playoffs for 13th-16th spot.

Taking on powerhouses Germany for a place in the quarterfinals, goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande led an amazing defensive effort that saw South Africa miss out on a top-eight finish by just a single goal. They had kept the world’s fourth-ranked team goalless in the first half, but an early penalty corner strike in the second half proved the difference in a 1-0 defeat, that nevertheless made an impression on the world of hockey.

The defeat on Saturday evening meant South Africa had to play again less than 18 hours later against an enthusiastic Ireland team for a finish in the top-12.

Unfortunately, having put up such a stout effort in the previous game, the team’s lack of energy reserves caused them to sell themselves short in a 2-0 defeat.

After a bright start, South Africa gradually began falling off the pace, with ill-discipline and cards not helping their cause. Ireland began to take control of the match and it was only a heck of a defensive effort again which kept them to two goals. The Irish enjoyed 13 penalty corners to 1 and had 24 circle entries compared to South Africa’s 14.

“We’re disappointed with how we played,” Lilian du Plessis, who earned her 150th cap on Sunday, said. “We let ourselves down a bit technically, we knew what to do tactically and it worked when we executed it properly.

“It was tough playing so soon after the Germany match, but we can’t use that as an excuse because individually we were not good enough.

“We need to regroup and refocus now, put lots of prep into our next game and try to fix what we got wrong today,” Du Plessis said.

Germany lose both the men’s & women’s finals 0

Posted on July 23, 2017 by Ken

 

The Germans had the chance to be uber alles on the last day of the Hockey World League at Wits Astro on Sunday, but unfortunately lost in both the men’s and women’s finals.

The loss in the women’s final, against the United States, was particularly heartbreaking as it came in a shootout, after Germany had scored the opening goal, only for the Americans to snatch the equaliser with just two minutes left.

The men’s final was nowhere near as thrilling, as Belgium produced hockey of the highest standard to storm to a 6-1 victory, firmly laying to rest the 3-2 defeat they had suffered at the hands of the Germans in the pool stages.

Belgium’s pace, skill, use of space and understanding of the angles on a hockey field were all outstanding, especially in the second quarter, when they scored three goals to go into halftime 4-1 up and leaving Germany with a near-insurmountable task to catch them.

Highlights for Belgium were Arthur van Doren, who rescued a short-corner that had gone wrong for the first goal, providing a superb ball into the circle for Amaury Keusters to one-time into goal with a great deflection; Cedric Charlier’s dazzling run that brought the fourth goal and his deftest of touches to deflect a super long ball from Gauthier Boccard into goal after Germany had replaced their ‘keeper with a kicking back.

The USA women had been chasing the game against a dominant German side, and had goalkeeper Jackie Briggs to thank for being only 1-0 down, Camille Nobis steering home the opening goal from Marie Mavers’ cross after she had picked up a deflected slap by Nina Notman.

It was only in the final quarter that the USA managed to impose themselves on a German defence expertly led by Janne Muller-Wieland, with Kathleen Sharkey causing problems with some great runs up front.

Then, with two minutes to go, Sharkey was off on another sortie and defender Nike Lorenz stick-hacked her and leaned into her with the shoulder, causing the 27-year-old Olympian to lose the ball. According to the laws of the game, umpire Carolina de la Fuente of Argentina had no option but to award a penalty stroke.

Germany employed the surprise tactic of replacing their goalkeeper just before the stroke, but Taylor West found the top corner of the goal with ease.

The drama of a shootout then decided the final, with the USA obviously enjoying a big advantage thanks to the brilliance and experience of goalkeeper Briggs. She saved Lorenz’s shot and superbly channelled German captain Jana Teschke away from goal, before Franzisca Hauke beat her but only managed to get the ball into the goal just 0.4 seconds after the hooter.

The responsibility of deciding the shootout then fell to 17-year-old Erin Matson, and she was as cool as a veteran as she calmly finished and claimed the first title for a young American team going through a time of rebuilding.

It was an amazing turnaround in fortunes for the USA, who lost two games in the pool stages.

One of the teams that beat them were South Africa, and they completed a fine end to the tournament on Saturday by beating Japan 2-1 to claim fifth place.

Results: Men’s 3rd/4th – Australia 8 (Jake Whetton, Jeremy Hayward 2, Aaron Kleinschmidt 2, Tom Craig, Trent Mitton, Tom Wickham) Spain 1 (Pau Quemada); Women’s 3rd/4th – England 5 (Sophie Bray, Susannah Townsend, Laura Unsworth, Giselle Ansley 2) Argentina 2 (Lucina von der Heyde, Delfina Merino); Women’s final – United States 1 (Taylor West) Germany 1 (Camille Nobis), USA beat Germany 3-2 in shootout (Erin Matson, Melissa Gonzalez, Michelle Vittese vs Janne Muller-Wieland, Marie Mavers); Men’s final – Belgium 6 (Arthur van Doren, Tim Boon, Amaury Keusters, Cedric Charlier 2, Augustin Meurmans) Germany 1 (Tom Grambusch).

Final standings

Women: 1 USA; 2 Germany; 3 England; 4 Argentina; 5 South Africa; 6 Japan; 7 Ireland; 8 India; 9 Chile; 10 Poland.

Men: 1 Belgium; 2 Germany; 3 Australia; 4 Spain; 5 Ireland; 6 New Zealand; 7 France; 8 Egypt; 9 South Africa; 10 Japan.

 

Germany & Belgium confirmed as men’s finalists 0

Posted on July 21, 2017 by Ken

 

Germany and Belgium confirmed themselves as the men’s finalists for the Hockey World League at the Wits Astro on Friday night with thrilling semi-final wins.

Germany were 1-0 down to Spain as they entered the last five minutes of their semifinal, but they never lost their composure, never tried anything silly and barely looked like a side chasing the game for a spot in a  final.

Having just taken off their goalkeeper and with sterling defender Mathias Muller acting as a kicking back, captain Mats Grambusch then produced a superb run along the baseline before flipping the ball back for Ferdinand Weinke to slap in the equaliser.

Grambusch also marked himself out as a special player in the shootout, which went to sudden death, as he scored with both of his brilliant attempts.

Christopher Ruhr, firstly after Dieter-Enrique Linnekogel had won a penalty stroke, provided the other two goals in the shootout and goalkeeper Mark Appel also made some great saves for Germany to find their way through to the final.

In the other semifinal, Cedric Charlier and Amaury Keusters both scored for Belgium, before Australia pulled a goal back from a short-corner after the hooter for the end of the third quarter, through a fine flick by Jeremy Hayward.

Then, with just 19 seconds left in the match, Kiran Arunasalam thought he had scored the equaliser for Australia, but Kiwi umpire Gareth Greenfield called for a referral and a small foot was discovered, leading to the goal being disallowed.

The USA and Germany will meet in the women’s final on Sunday, while South Africa’s women’s side play in the fifth/sixth playoff against Japan on Saturday at 1.30pm.

Earlier on Friday, South Africa’s national men’s team beat Japan 4-2 in their playoff for ninth and 10th place with veteran former South African captain Austin Smith proving himself a jack of all trades as he scored two goals and led a determined defensive effort.

The hard-fought victory ensured the hosts not only didn’t finish last in the tournament, but it means they avoid relegation from the elite level of the event.

While the 32-year-old Smith twice rocketed superb short-corner drag-flicks into the right-hand corner of goal, the match was marked by a top-class display from the 18-year-old prodigy Dayaan Cassiem.

Cassiem was a constant threat running with the ball and he set up both the 29th-minute short-corner that saw South Africa go 2-1 up through Smith’s second goal, and the penalty-corner four minutes from full time that made sure of victory.

Cassiem pounced on a deflection and, spinning and shooting all in one motion, he fired the ball into goal to give the home side a two-goal cushion.

Coach Fabian Gregory said the performance left no doubt that Cassiem is a future superstar.

“Dayaan was fantastic today, I took huge flak for choosing him because he was just 18 years old and had not played in an IPT yet, but you could see today that it was a no-brainer. He’s the most exciting striker in the country, a real goal-scorer and he’s always just so focused on the rebounds.

“He’s had offers from all around the world, but first he must get his matric and study further. As a player, he’s really hard on himself and is extremely humble. He’s such an exciting prospect, but he’s really grounded,” Gregory told The Citizen on Friday.

Japan equalised just a minute after Smith had scored his first short-corner goal, but the defender put South Africa 2-1 up just before halftime. The Japanese dominated the third quarter, however, with Genki Mitani ramming home their second equaliser.

South Africa claimed a 3-2 lead though after a superb breakaway. Julian Hykes ran aggressively from midfield, combining with Rhett Halkett down the left, before Cassiem’s mis-hit shot hit a Japanese defender in the goalmouth, leading to a penalty stroke. Jonty Robinson’s flick was not his most confident effort, but it nevertheless went into the right-hand corner of the goal.

Gregory said he was pleased his team had won playing a more exciting brand of hockey.

“Playing the youngsters with their exuberance and their willingness to go out and play is exciting and they showed the way forward today, it was good for the team to show they can play attacking hockey. We want to try and score goals, we want to play with more speed, play with no fear. The ability to close out a game is also important and knowing when to put the knife in,” Gregory said.

Results: 9th-10th – South Africa 4 (Austin Smith 2, Jonathan Robinson, Dayaan Cassiem) Japan 2 (Koji Yamasaki, Genki Mitani); 5th-8th New Zealand 2 (Nick Haig, Kane Russell) Egypt 0, Ireland 1 (Shane O’Donoghue) France 1 (Hugo Genestet), Ireland won shootout 4-3 (Conor Harte, Eugene Magee, John Jackson, Chris Cargo vs Viktor Lockwood, Jean-Laurent Kieffer, Pieter van Straaten); Semi-finals – Germany 1 (Ferdinand Weinke) Spain 1 (Ricardo Sanchez), Germany won shootout 4-3 (Mats Grambusch 2, Dieter-Enrique Linnekogel/Christopher Ruhr 2 vs Sergi Enrique 2, Alvaro Iglesias); Belgium 2 (Cedric Charlier, Amaury Keusters) Australia 1 (Jeremy Hayward).

Saturday’s fixtures: Women’s 7th-8th – 11.15am India v Ireland; Women’s 5th-6th – 1.30pm South Africa v Japan; Men’s 7th-8th – 3.45pm Egypt v France; Men’s 5th-6th 6pm New Zealand v Ireland.

 

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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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