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Ken Borland



We will have to wait a little longer for Schaper’s maiden pro win as Moolman pips him 0

Posted on December 21, 2022 by Ken

BENONI, Gauteng – We will have to wait a little longer for Jayden Schaper’s maiden professional win, but Pieter Moolman was a worthy winner of the Fortress Invitational at Ebotse Links on Sunday as he pipped the highly-rated former junior star in a playoff.

Moolman certainly did the hard yards for his maiden Sunshine Tour title, starting the final round three shots behind Schaper. And as he reached the final hole in regulation play, he was three-under for his round, having mixed five birdies with two bogeys, and looked like falling just short on 12-under-par as Schaper was already on 14-under-par.

But the 31-year-old Moolman hit an excellent drive and a superb approach shot on the par-five 18th to 10 feet from the hole, and nailed the eagle putt to vault to 14-under.

Schaper then bogeyed the par-four 17th but made birdie at the last to force a playoff with an excellent up-and-down after short-siding himself.

Moolman again hit a brilliant second in the playoff, finishing just off the green after being in the semi-rough on a mound. He would chip and sink a four-foot putt for birdie, while Schaper was unfortunate that his approach shot, which looked really good in the air, took a hard first bounce and ran through the green. The 21-year-old then could not quite sink a 10-footer for birdie, handing Moolman the win.

“I’ve lost a few times in these situations, but I’ve played better golf a few times than I did today,” Moolman said. “So to get over the line is really special and it shows that it does not take a perfect performance to win.

“It’s more mental, about believing you can still put a score on the board if you’re playing average golf, when your swing is not really there. I just had to stay in the moment and commit to what I was doing, take it shot-for-shot.”

Schaper will look back on a level-par back nine, which featured bogeys at the par-three 11th and the penultimate hole, as having cost him, but he showed tremendous determination and character in birdieing the last hole to get into the playoff, from which point it all becomes a bit of a lottery.

For Moolman, who like Schaper is based in Benoni and knows the Ebotse Links well, the win will give him great confidence heading into the big summer events. He has finished runner-up twice before this year, including at the Tour Championship at nearby Serengeti Estate.

“I’ve been playing solid golf for a while and I played solid enough the whole week, I was just trying to give myself opportunities, keep the ball in play and give myself a chance,” Moolman said.

“Finishing second at the Wild Coast a few weeks back, I made some mistakes down the back nine, but I learnt from that and how to stay strong.

“Now that I’ve won, you start believing you can win again and that you belong here. I’m looking forward to the summer events,” Moolman said.

Although he finished fourth, two shots off the pace, Sean Bradley will remember the final round for a long time as he began with a double-bogey at the first hole, but then made a hole-in-one at the par-three eighth. He then rounded off his round with a massive eagle putt, from off the green, on the last hole, finishing with a 63 that put him right into contention.

American Dan Erickson claimed third place on 13-under, signing for a 67 after he could only make par on the last three holes.

Sad to say for SA, but Indian demolishers have them 4 down already 0

Posted on January 31, 2022 by Ken

South Africa are chasing a record-breaking 305 to win the first Test against India at Centurion and, sadly for the home side, they are already four wickets down heading into the final day, with Kagiso Rabada honest enough to say the tourists’ attack are showing exactly why they are so highly-rated.

Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj are a trio of demolishers that are even more deadly on a SuperSport Park pitch that is offering prodigious movement and variable bounce with some deliveries standing up and others scuttling through low.

“India have quality bowlers. Shami and Bumrah are experienced now and Siraj has been bowling well recently too. It’s a good attack, full of pace and skill. They have showed why people say they are so good,” Rabada said after close of play on the fourth day on Wednesday.

Rabada also enjoyed bowling on the SuperSport Park pitch on Wednesday, taking 4/42 in 17 lively overs. Things went much better for South Africa with the ball in the second innings as they bowled India out for just 174, giving themselves an outside chance of winning the game.

“We tightened up our lines today, but the pitch was also a bit slow on Day 1 and then it has obviously quickened up. That made the movement quicker and gives the batsman less time to react, the ball shoots through more.

“But this game is definitely still winnable for us, we have to show belief. We will strategise and work out how to approach the final day overnight. But we have to believe, you need that.

“There has been some chat about when it will or won’t rain, but that’s an uncontrollable and we have to come out tomorrow thinking we will play a full day’s cricket,” Rabada said.

The leader of the Proteas attack also had some kind words for his co-paceman Marco Jansen, who also took four wickets in the Indian second innings to complete a satisfactory debut.

“Marco is a phenomenal talent as everyone has now seen. He’s tall so he gets bounce, but he also swings the ball. He’s got it all – pace, bounce and swing.

“He’s justified his selection and he’s a hard-worker who wants to learn and is really keen to do well for the team,” Rabada said.

But on the final day, South Africa’s hopes will rest with captain Dean Elgar, who has scrapped for more than three hours and is 52 not out.

“Dean has done this countless times, fighting when things are at their toughest. He knows the job is not over, but he’s doing his best for the country, the team and himself. He’s leading from the front,” Rabada said.

‘Just a hiccough’ – De Bruyn on losing Proteas contract 0

Posted on March 25, 2020 by Ken

Highly-rated batsman Theunis de Bruyn may have just lost his Proteas contract but the 27-year-old has enough perspective to know there are far more important issues at hand at the moment and he is confident a rotten 2019/20 summer for him personally is just a hiccough in a career that has promised so much.

While the Covid-19 pandemic brought the cricket season to a shocking, sudden halt, De Bruyn feels as if he didn’t really have a cricket season at all. From the time he scored 41 for SA A against India A in Mysore last September, he has batted just 20 times this summer.

His problems started in the Mzansi Super League in November when he was hospitalised with a mystery virus. Then in the Momentum One-Day Cup he had just scored a brilliant 120 against the Lions at Centurion when he tore a hamstring in the field. In his first net practice back, he was coming to the end of his session when he was too early on a pull against Junior Dala and suffered a concussion.

His last innings for the Proteas was back in October in the third Test against India in Ranchi, when, ironically, De Bruyn was the top-scorer as he made 30 out of a dismal total of 133 all out. And now he has lost his national contract.

So the 2019/20 season has exacted a heavy fee on his good humour.

“It was just one of those seasons and I have no answers to the questions why? But we need to put the situation in perspective with what is currently going on: we can’t even play cricket now, businesses are closing and it’s a crazy time. We can only hope this pandemic unites the nation and then we can stand up and rebuild. So we need to take all that on board for perspective.

“But this last season was completely not what I expected, not what I put in all the hard work towards. The current situation is a bit like my season, all questions and no answers. I’ve hardly played this season, it feels like the season never really started for me. I feel a bit forgotten but I just have to take it on the chin because I failed in international cricket. But at the end of the day the passion is still there and I will take on the new season,” De Bruyn told The Citizen on Tuesday.

The Titans star admitted it has been a tough time to get through, but he has already been putting in hard work to ensure he comes back next season as an even better player.

“I’ve figured a few things out as to how I can improve as a cricketer, to become a more complete package physically, mentally and technically. This season has been so tough, but then I had setbacks when I was young, not making a provincial team, and it makes you want to give up and then the next season you have the time of your life.

“I believe I still have a role to play in South African cricket, I still have eight-to-ten years left in my career so there’s still a lot of time. I’m just going to take all the lessons I can from this season. In the few innings I had, I actually felt good and what I have been working on was coming through. It’s the first time I’ve failed in my career but now I can help the Titans rebuild and get better, which is what I love. Plus I have the chance to watch all the cricket highlights on TV that I haven’t had the chance to see before,” De Bruyn said.

https://citizen.co.za/premium/2260168/bigger-things-are-happening-theunis-chilled-over-proteas-snub/

More injury woe for Bulls coach Nollis Marais 0

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Ken

 

 

Nollis Marais could be forgiven for shouting “Woe is me!” from the top of the Loftus Versfeld grandstand given the way injuries have hampered his pre-season preparation and the Bulls coach suffered another blow on Wednesday when highly-rated prop Lizo Gqoboka went down with a groin injury.

Following hot on the heels of the devastating news that flyhalf playmaker Handre Pollard has been ruled out for the season with ruptured knee ligaments, Gqoboka pulled out of this weekend’s warm-up match against the Lions in Polokwane with a groin strain an hour after being named in the squad.

Gqoboka will be out of action for a couple of weeks, joining senior loose forwards Lappies Labuschagne and Deon Stegmann, as well as youthful flank Roelof Smit, on the sidelines.

“You nurse Handre Pollard for weeks with his shoulder injury and then in a normal passing drill he hurts his leg. He was obviously a huge part of our plans, and Lizo too, plus Lappies and Steggies are out too. But the other guys must now step up. It’s a mind switch and the other guys must just get on with it,” Marais said at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday.

Marais announced his best available team for Saturday’s match against the Lions with Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss, named as the Super Rugby captain, set to lead the franchise for the first time.

“It’s a great privilege for me and I seem to play better when responsibility is on my shoulders. We’ve lost Handre and Deon, who are both great leaders, but Rudi Paige has made a massive step up in terms of leadership. The team has a lot of respect for him, he has a lot of authority and he makes great calls,” Strauss said.

Jesse Kriel, who played fullback when he announced himself to the world stage in last year’s Super Rugby competition, has been named at outside centre by Marais, with the exciting Warrick Gelant in the number 15 jersey.

“I see Jesse as a number 13, he played there when I coached the U21s, and he is the Springbok outside centre, so that was the easiest position to slot in, he understands what we’re trying to do. I’m not too keen on him at fullback. Bjorn Basson is also an option at 15, and Jamba Ulengo could move into 11. Maybe we’ll do that for the last 15 minutes on Saturday,” Marais said.

When Francois Brummer returned to Loftus Versfeld in November for the first time since 2010 on loan from the Pumas, the 26-year-old could not have foreseen how vital he would be for the Bulls’ Super Rugby plans. But the former Waterkloof High School star is now the starting flyhalf with Tian Schoeman on the bench.

Team – Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Francois Brummer, Rudy Paige, Arno Botha, Hanro Liebenberg, Nic de Jager, Grant Hattingh, RG Snyman, Marcel van der Merwe, Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane. Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Lizo Gqoboka, Jason Jenkins, Jannes Kirsten, Piet van Zyl, Tian Schoeman, Burger Odendaal, Werner Kruger, Pierre Schoeman, Jamba Ulengo, Jade Stighling.

 

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    Every day offers the opportunity for doing a kind deed or speaking an encouraging word to someone who feels overwhelmed.

    Our exuberant joy about God’s goodness to us should cause us to throw ourselves enthusiastically into serving others.

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