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Ken Borland

Birdies & eagles & nearly an albatross for Van Tonder, but goslings were safe 0

Posted on October 01, 2020 by Ken

There were so many birdies, a couple of eagles and very nearly an albatross for the red-hot Danie van Tonder on Wednesday that one half-expected the Rise Up Series order of merit leader to shoot something new and extraordinary like a gosling in the first round of the Vodacom Championship Reloaded at Huddle Park Golf Club.

Van Tonder instead settled for a wonderful nine-under-par 63 in a superb round of golf that meant the baby Egyptian Geese in danger were the ones way down the fairway and certainly not those around the water hazards. The 29-year-old collected six birdies and two eagles as he basically overwhelmed the course from the tees. He very nearly scored an albatross two at the 438-metre par-five 14th hole, when his approach lipped out of the hole.

“I’m very happy, the Driver gave me lots of chances with wedges to get really close to the pins. On 14, I hit a five-wood off the tee and then had 110 to the pin, I took my lob-wedge and said to my caddy that I must go for some spin, and I spun it back almost into the hole for a two. But almost all the holes are birdie holes, you can attack the pins and there are lots of chances on every hole.

“I’m quite happy about everything in my game, it’s great to see my hard work paying off and I’m just going to keep on practising and trying to get better. It’s a new day tomorrow and I will try and make a 10-under 62, you never know. I’ll go home now and wait for the rain to come – the greens are already very receptive and rolling nicely,” Van Tonder said after starting his hunt for a third Rise Up Series title in perfect fashion.

Four-time Sunshine Tour winner Christiaan Basson has had a disappointing Rise Up Series, only making the cut at the African Bank Championship at Glendower, but on Wednesday he played like he had a personal grudge against Huddle Park as he fired an eight-under-par 64.

He was joined on that score soon afterwards when Louis de Jager, playing in the same three-ball as Van Tonder, finished with three 3s to also sign for a brilliant 64.

It was also a good day for the experienced and consistent Jacques Blaauw, who also had two eagles on his way to a 65, and Musiwalo Nethunzwi, who also finished on seven-under alongside rookie Malcolm Mitchell.

Young Jayden Schaper produced one of the more exciting rounds of the day as he eagled the first three par-fives on his way to a 66 that gave him seventh place all by himself.

On a day when one golfer was heard to enquire “where is the rest of the par-five?”, it was a very disappointing first round for Darren Fichardt, Van Tonder’s only rival for the Rise Up Series order of merit title, as he let himself down by coming home in 38 shots (the back nine was tougher on Wednesday) to finish with a 72. With 64 golfers shooting under-par on the first day, Fichardt’s battle is now to make the cut.

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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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