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Ken Borland

Dawson has good reason to feel delighted after day of very bad weather at Fancourt 0

Posted on March 11, 2024 by Ken

GEORGE, Western Cape – After a day of very bad weather at Fancourt, with strong gales and torrential downpours, Ana Dawson was the only golfer to finish under-par after the first round of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am and she had good reason to feel delighted.

Dawson, who hails from the Isle of Man, played the Outeniqua course in one-under-par 71 and so ended the opening day one stroke ahead of another three international golfers who finished on level-par: Germany’s Carolin Kauffmann, Scotland’s Kylie Henry and Englishwoman Lauren Taylor.

If the vile weather did not dampen Dawson’s mood then even a three-putt for bogey at the par-four last hole was not going to do it either.

“It was really hard weather and with all the delays, keeping your round going was probably the trickiest bit. It’s always a shame to three-putt the last, it leaves a bit of a sour taste, but I’m still very happy,” the 22-year-old Dawson said.

“If someone had offered me one-under today at the start of the round I would definitely have taken it. I had a nice draw because Outeniqua is a bit shorter and a bit more forgiving, but you still have to play well. I honestly hit just one bad shot today, but I struggled on the greens.”

Dawson enjoyed a fast start with a birdie on the par-four first hole, but she had to stay very patient thereafter as three pars were followed by a bogey on the par-four fifth. She birdied the sixth and eighth holes, but then dropped a shot at the ninth to turn in one-under.

The back nine was more grind with birdies on the 10th and 14th holes, but another bogey on the par-three 12th.

Dawson said the tough conditions actually suited her because it allowed her to take her time.

“It was quite slow out there, but in a way that was nice because it meant I didn’t have to try and rush, which has happened to me in the past. I felt I didn’t need to hurry at all today and that helped me. I really took my time and made sure everything was ready and right before I played,” Dawson said.

Henry and Taylor both took on the Montague course that is rated as being more difficult.

Henry was excellent on the front nine, going out in two-under, but the back nine bit back as she bogeyed three of the first four holes. A birdie on the par-five 18th was a great way to end though, restoring her to level-par.

Taylor recovered brilliantly from a disastrous front nine. After three pars, a double-bogey seven at the fourth would have knocked the wind out of her sails. She also dropped shots on the sixth and ninth holes, partially offset by a birdie on the par-three eighth, but the 29-year-old was three-over at the turn.

But Taylor stormed to three birdies in the first five holes of the back nine, not dropping any more shots on her way back to the clubhouse.

Kiera Floyd and Lejan Lewthwaite are the leading South Africans, tied in fifth place on one-over-par with Alexandra Swayne of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Bradbury exhibits all the airs of disbelief one would expect after winning Joburg Open 0

Posted on February 28, 2023 by Ken

Englishman Dan Bradbury on Sunday exhibited all the airs of disbelief one would expect of a golfer who comes into a co-sanctioned tournament like the Joburg Open on a sponsor’s invite without any tour status, and ends up winning.

Bradbury clinched the Joburg Open title by three strokes at Houghton Golf Club on Sunday, shooting four-under 67 in the final round to finish 21-under-par overall.

Having been at the top of the leaderboard from the first day, when he shot a 63, there seldom seemed any doubt on Sunday that the 23-year-old Bradbury would win as he produced a superb round of controlled golf. Whenever he made a mistake, Bradbury quickly rectified it and his only dropped shot came when he three-putted the final hole, but he already had a three-shot lead.

The U.S. College golf system may not receive much attention in South Africa, but it clearly produces golfers of great temperament. With all the massive prizes on offer, including a guaranteed spot on tour four months after turning pro, Bradbury did not blink when the pressure was on.

“It’s amazing, I can’t tell you how it feels because it still hasn’t sunk in and I’m sure it won’t for a while,” Bradbury said half-an-hour after his triumph. “I just went out there today to enjoy it.

“I played a lot of good golf and I was able to draw on my experience of College golf, I tried to win a lot there and I learnt from my mistakes. I just tried to play solid golf today and not do anything different.

“I just tried to not compound errors because on these greens bogey is never too far away and I just tried to keep the doubles away. My swing and irons were good all week and we picked good lines and hit good shots.

“It is life-changing because I’ve gone from not knowing where I will be playing to now being able to play everything, which I will do because I love playing. This is a silly game because I have been hurting may times after final rounds,” a beaming Bradbury said.

Finland’s Sami Valimaki shot a two-under-par 69 on Sunday to finish second on 18-under-par, while South Africans Christiaan Bezuidenhout (66) and Daniel van Tonder (68) were tied in third place on 17-under. Both played well off the tee and the fairways, but just could not make the crucial birdie putts coming down the back nine.

Bezuidenhout, who had a run of birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie from the third hole, Van Tonder and Valimaki all put Bradbury under early pressure, but the Yorkshireman chipped in for a crucial par on the sixth, when double-bogey looked possible, and also made vital par-saves on the 14th and 15th holes.

And now Bradbury has a lot of new plans to put in place. Starting with some shopping because he will be playing in the SA Open at Blair Atholl next week, instead of flying home as planned, and only brought one set of golf attire with him.

Only prim & proper that Ace-man Zanotti should be top of the leaderboard upon the NGC’s return to Sun City 0

Posted on February 08, 2023 by Ken

Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti is the only golfer to claim a hole-in-one in the 40 years of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, so it was perhaps only prim and proper that he should be at the top of the leaderboard at the end of his first round on Thursday as Africa’s Major returned to Sun City.

With the limited fields in existence for most of the famous event’s history, it took 35 years for the first ace to be recorded, with Zanotti the man to make history when he sunk his seven-iron on the 195m par-three fourth hole in the second round in 2016.

On that occasion, his eagle took him to the top of the leaderboard, but unfortunately he could not hold on to that position as a 78 in the third round saw him tumble, but a 72 on the final day did see him finish tied-16th.

On Thursday he also did not stay at the top of the pile, as he was overtaken by Guido Migliozzi and then Luke Donald and Ryan Fox, but his excellent four-under-par 68 means he is very much in contention to be the first South American winner of the tournament.

The 39-year-old Zanotti smiled broadly when reminded of his 2016 feat and asked whether the Nedbank Golf Challenge has a special place in his heart.

“I really like it here and you play holes and see places where you hit really good shots before. But this time I nearly hit it in the water on the fourth!

“But my play from the tee was one of the good things today. I made a great start on the 10th with a birdie and then it was just about keeping patient.

“The wind always gets harder here and sometimes you miss the direction. And a few of the pin positions are very difficult, a bit inaccessible, but it is pretty fair overall.

“The greens are still a little soft, but as they get harder then the pin positions will be tougher,” Zanotti said.

The two-time DP World Tour winner is ranked 48th on the order of merit, so he was understandably happy with his start to this Rolex Series event, tied in fourth place, four off the lead, with the top-50 on the points list going through to next week’s World Tour Championship finale in Dubai.

“I’ve been really steady this year, made a lot of cuts and had a few good results. But I need a good week here and I want to put four good rounds together because I always seem to make a few mistakes and have one poor round.

“At the beginning of the season, you always plan to be there in Dubai at the end, it was one of my goals. I am three days away from doing it, but I just need to be very patient in my thinking,” Zanotti said.

Wind gets up, but so does Naidoo to go top of leaderboard 0

Posted on January 05, 2023 by Ken

BALLITO, KwaZulu-Natal – The wind got up on the back nine but so did Dylan Naidoo as the promising young golfer soared to the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the SunBet Challenge hosted by Sun Sibaya at the Umhlali Country Club on Wednesday.

Naidoo was level-par after the front nine, but blazed his way back to the clubhouse with five birdies, picking up back-to-back shots on both the 10th and 11th holes and the last two holes of his round, for a five-under-par 66.

That left him one stroke clear of the group of six golfers on four-under-par 67 – Nikhil Rama, Kyle McClatchie, Jaco Prinsloo, Rhys West, Richard Joubert and Lindani Ndwandwe.

The patience the 24-year-old showed in not letting the back-to-back bogeys he made on the par-five fifth and par-three sixth holes lead to frustration was the most impressive aspect of his round.

“On the front nine the weather was pretty benign, but I knew the wind would pick up,” Naidoo said. “After the bogeys, you start thinking ‘I’m one-over on the easy bit where there’s no wind’, but I was playing super-solid golf and I’d had a couple of unlucky breaks.

“So I just needed to keep playing the way I’d been playing and it all fell into place nicely on the back nine. I’ve been playing really well lately and it’s just that final part on the scoreboard that’s lacking.

“But you can’t force things, you have to let the score happen. You can’t take on flags that you don’t need to because that just leads to compounding errors instead of multiplying birdies.

“You don’t have to play perfect golf to be at the top of the leaderboard, and I’ve shown nice progression in understanding that. Long may it continue,” Naidoo said.

Umhlali Country Club was established in 1960 as a nine-hole course, but the acquisition of the design services of Peter Matkovich in 1970 led to the birth of the current 18-hole course.  It may be short, but it is undulating and there is plenty of water, so the golfers are going to earn their keep in this three-round, R1 million Sunshine Tour event.

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    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.

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