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Ken Borland



Youngsters obviously need opportunity & Otto praises the sponsors of the Sunshine Tour for development of sport 0

Posted on October 27, 2022 by Ken

SOUTHBROOM, KwaZulu-Natal – The most obvious thing young, up-and-coming golfers need is the opportunity to compete, and veteran Sunshine Tour campaigner Hennie Otto has praised the sponsors of this week’s event at San Lameer, Vodacom, for the critical role they have played in the development of the sport in this country.

Otto has been on tour since 1997/98, when it was actually known as the Vodacom Tour, and is teeing it up this week in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series event at San Lameer Country Club as one of the favourites, given his ninth position on the current Luno Order of Merit.

As a senior statesman of the tour and someone who has enjoyed its benefits so much, Otto is eager to ensure the younger generation get the same exposure and rewards.

“Vodacom have been involved in golf in this country for more than 20 years and what they’ve really done is develop golfers,” Otto said after the first round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Pro-Am at San Lameer.

“Every young golfer needs opportunity in order to have a successful career, and if nobody creates those opportunities for them, then they won’t get them.

“I’ve played with Mr Mzimba [William, CEO Vodacom Business Group] a few times in these Vodacom Origins of Golf Pro-Ams and he tells me about the dozen or so development players they help. Hopefully those guys really come through, and even if just five of them do then it is still something special.

“The tour is definitely growing and I think in the years to come, it is just going to get bigger,” Otto said.

While the Sunshine Tour has seen a number of very promising young players shine this year, the fairways are still very much the lair of experienced pros like Otto, Jean Hugo, who is seventh on the Luno Order of Merit, and Jaco van Zyl, who won last weekend at Selborne Park Golf Club.

The 46-year-old Otto is still hitting the ball well and looked in hot form last weekend when he finished second to Van Zyl at the Gary and Vivienne Player Challenge. It was his fourth top-six finish this season, a ray of hope after a couple of very tough years following the passing of his wife in 2020.

“As a senior, some of the guys call me ‘Oom’, but this ‘Oom” can still play now and again,” Otto smiles. “I’ve been doing nicely, I just haven’t finished off like I want to.

“But I’m close to where I want to be both mentally and physically, although I’m a bit overweight – I’ve had a few braais,” he laughs.

“But there are nice tournaments coming up, we’re building up and up for the big ones at the end of the year, and the more you finish up the leaderboard, the more confident you get.

“I’ve played all those tournaments before, I know the places, so I’ll be even more comfortable,” Otto said.

Rourke keeps the door closed with an inspired putting display 0

Posted on July 11, 2022 by Ken

SUN CITY, North-West – Rourke van der Spuy kept the door firmly closed on multiple Sunshine Tour winners Hennie Otto and Louis de Jager as another inspired putting display saw him shoot 69 in the final round of the SunBet Challenge hosted by Sun City to claim a three-stroke victory in the first event of the SunBet Series.

De Jager, who has won five times on tour, and Otto, who has a whopping 13 Sunshine Tour titles plus three on the European Tour, were Van der Spuy’s company in the final three-ball, breathing down his neck just one stroke behind the 32-year-old.

But Van der Spuy was unfazed, leading from start-to-finish in the final round. He made an early statement with birdies on the second and third holes, and even back-to-back bogeys on six and seven did not derail him. Birdies on the 10th and 11th holes put him back in command, and he sealed the deal with a fine approach into the middle of the 17th green and a 25-foot birdie putt.

“It was just about spot-on in terms of our planning. My coach and I said we would go for a score in the 60s, on a tough course like this that felt like it would be good enough,” a delighted Van der Spuy said.

“Something under-par was our target and I’m very proud to have broken 70. I had control of my game, even when Louis went on a good run on the back nine. That birdie on 17 was my most clutch putt of the day.

“I’ve been very good on the greens all week and my only slip-up was a three-putt on seven, but that was a very long putt.

“I’ve always thought, why not lead and be the frontrunner, even one shot counts at the end of the day,” Van der Spuy said.

It’s been four years between celebrations for the Durban Country Club golfer, whose previous Sunshine Tour wins were at the Mopani Redpath Zambia Open in 2018 and the Fish River Sun Challenge in 2015.

Making the occasion even more special was to be able to beat Otto, who finished in a tie for third, four shots back, after a level-par 72 on Friday.

“Playing with Hennie was a wonderful feeling because growing up, and when I started at the bottom of the Sunshine Tour, I looked up to him as a mentor. He is such an accomplished and successful golfer, and Louis as well. Today I realised some childhood dreams,” Van der Spuy said.

Ockie Strydom fired a 68, the low round of the day, to finish in a tie for fifth on three-under-par with JJ Senekal (71) and the in-form Louis Albertse (72).

De Jager finished in second place on his own, on five-under-par, after making 71 in the final round. But he did give Van der Spuy some cause for concern on the back nine as he collected three birdies.

But not even that could distract Van der Spuy from his goal.

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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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