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Ken Borland

Henry keeps her round on track to win as crosswinds whizz around Fancourt 0

Posted on March 13, 2024 by Ken

GEORGE, Western Cape – With crosswinds whizzing over the Montagu fairways on the back nine, Kylie Henry was best able to keep her round on track as she sealed a two-stroke victory in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt on Sunday.

Henry was two strokes off the lead at the start of the final round, but the other leading contenders spluttered along on the third day. Even though the Scotswoman went out in one-over-par 37, a string of six successive pars on the back nine saw her claim a share of the lead with Ana Dawson, who had led after both the first and second rounds.

And then, as the pressure mounted and Dawson missed some crucial putts, Henry pounced with key birdies on the par-four 16th and 18th holes. It was her first professional win since 2014, when she won twice on the Ladies European Tour, and the 37-year-old said she was delighted to get back on the winner’s podium after a couple of tough years.

“It means so much to me, I have been playing for a long time, this is my 15th season on tour. But the last couple of seasons have been really tough. I broke my elbow and then last year was just very difficult for me personally and my golf suffered as a result,” Henry said.

“To get my golf game back makes me so happy. It was tricky out there today, there were a lot of crosswinds on the back nine, and I knew I just had to commit to my shots. I managed to keep doing that and I sank some good putts as well.”

Henry was tied for second with Alexandra Swayne going into the final round, and Swayne had a level-par front nine on Sunday, but her back nine was a car-crash with a run of double-bogey, bogey, bogey from the 11th hole. She finished tied for ninth on six-over-par after an 80.

Dawson, despite dropping shots on the 11th and 12th holes, was just one shot behind Henry when she teed off on the final hole. But she drove into the trees, and then ricocheted off another tree trying to come out with her second. Eventually she had to settle for a bogey-six, which left her in a tie for third on level-par with Romy Meekers, who fired an outstanding 67, the best round of the day by four shots.

There were birdie chances available for Dawson in the middle of the back nine, but she had struggles with her putter.

Local stalwart Lee-Anne Pace stepped up on the final day by shooting a level-par 72 and getting herself into contention. She once again eagled the par-five ninth and also birdied the 18th, but Henry did not give her an opening and Pace had to settle for second place on her own, on one-under-par.

Jarvis is doing what the DJs say: ‘Keep your feet on the ground & reach for the stars’ 0

Posted on January 03, 2024 by Ken

Casey Jarvis

“Keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars” was the catchphrase of famous American radio DJ Casey Kasem, also used by renown South African disc-jockey David Gresham, and although it comes from a time well before Casey Jarvis was born, it aptly describes what the rising star is doing on golf courses around the world at the moment.

Jarvis, who turned 20 in July, is currently firmly in the mix for the South African Open title at Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate and, at the end of a breakthrough year for one of the most decorated amateurs in local history it is his mature, measured approach that has caught the eye.

It was noticeable from the second round when the SA Open organisers began using devilishly tricky pin-placements and an inconsistent, shifting wind picked up, how adept Jarvis was at not taking on the ‘sucker-flags’ and finding the best places on the greens.

Jarvis has game, of that there can be no doubt given his stellar CV, but he also has the priceless attribute of a level head. It is that strong mentality that saw him notch his first overseas win as a professional in Austria in his last couple of weeks as a teenager, as part of his dominance of the Challenge Tour that led to him winning his DP World Tour card for the coming season.

The State Mines Country Club representative was in touching distance of the lead going into the 2022 Joburg Open at Houghton Golf Club, before fading on the weekend, but he says he is a different player to the one who left South Africa to take on Europe, and those changes were apparent as he soared up the leaderboard at Blair Atholl.

“Playing overseas is so difficult, the courses in Europe are so different to back home here in SA and you’ve got to really learn how to manage your game. I’ve learnt so much since last year’s Joburg Open,” Jarvis said.

“The Challenge Tour taught me not to be as aggressive. I learnt patience – I don’t need to hit it to five feet on every hole, which I used to want to, because my putting is good enough. I don’t need to attack all the flags, I don’t need to go for every par-five in two, I must just make sure I am straight off the tee-box.

“You’ve got to manage your game and I think I’m doing that really well this week. I can still be aggressive when I need to be and I’m happy that it all seems to be coming together,” Jarvis said.

Born in Boksburg on July 28, 2003, Casey David Jarvis has a biography that makes for riveting reading.

In 2020 he won both the South African Strokeplay Championship and the South African Amateur Championship before claiming the Freddie Tait Cup for the leading amateur at that year’s South African Open. It was a treble only achieved twice before, by the legendary Bobby Locke in 1935 and by Neville Clarke, who beat Ernie Els to those amateur crowns in 1989 but only turned pro in his senior years because he had a successful career as an electrical engineer.

If Jarvis now goes on to win the SA Open at Blair Atholl, he will join Locke, an eight-time champion who also won four British Open Championships, in rarefied air.

Jarvis’s amateur career also included winning the Junior World Cup with the South African team in 2019 as well as the African Amateur Championship back-to-back in 2021 and 2022. In 2020 he was named the America-based Men’s Player of the Year despite not playing College golf.

Jarvis was last season’s Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year following a season in which he also became the second-youngest golfer globally to shoot a 59 on a major tour, which he achieved at the prestigious Players Championship at Dainfern.

For such a seasoned winner, triumphing on the Challenge Tour did not come easy for Jarvis, but he showed his character with his win in Austria because it came after back-to-back runners-up finishes just a month earlier in the Czech Republic and Copenhagen.

But there is a cautionary tale in flesh at Blair Atholl of young superstars burning themselves out, in Matteo Manassero, also strongly contending for the title. The Italian won three times on the European Tour as a teenager before losing his card in 2019. Now aged 30, he is back on the DP World Tour.

“There are many things that led to my struggles, but one of the most important is that I definitely became focused on results and forgot about the process and what worked for me,” Manassero told Rapport.

“Once you start going down that spiral of needing results week after week, it gets in your head and you neither improve your game nor your results. If your game is good enough week in, week out, then your results will come.

“But expectations can mean you are only focused on results and it is easy to fall into that trap. ‘Am I improving?’ should be your only focus, not making cuts, not keeping your card, not being top-50 in the world. Those are important goals but they are not the most important thing,” Manassero warned.

Fortunately, even though Jarvis admitted the Austrian win did buck him up after the two close misses, he said winning the SA Open on Sunday will not be his be-all and end-all.

“I’m just going to stick to what I’m doing, my golf feels good and I’m very comfortable and relaxed on the course, like a social round. I will just try to stay patient.

“It’s a big mental thing. I forced it for those second-place finishes, I really wanted to win and I just put more pressure on myself when there’s already enough pressure on you.

“I took a step back in Austria and just tried to go out and see what happened. I’ve learnt not to put so much pressure on myself because then I don’t play the way I want to. After finishing second so many times, to get it done was a good feeling. But I really did not expect to be doing these things when I was still so young.

“If I don’t win the SA Open, I would have learnt a lot,” Jarvis said.

Under-performing Proteas have SA cricket under enormous pressure 0

Posted on June 26, 2023 by Ken

South African cricket is under enormous pressure at the moment, with the Proteas battling to keep their heads above water in Australia at the height of summer in a Test series that enjoys considerable profile due to it being between the two sides at number one and two in the World Test Championship.

The second Test at the MCG from Boxing Day, one of the great occasions in the game, is do-or-die for the Proteas in terms of staying alive in the series; but it also offers them the chance to go into 2023 on a much-needed positive note.

There can be no doubt that the South African cricket team have underperformed in 2022. The Test format has actually been their strongest, which is why they are still in contention to play in next year’s World Test Championship final, despite having one of the weakest batting line-ups.

They began 2022 by sealing a memorable series win over India, where the batsmen showed true guts and the bowlers were superb in home conditions. Their inconsistency then came to the fore in New Zealand with an abysmal performance in the first Test, but then a brilliant effort in the second to draw the series on the home turf of the reigning WTC champions.

Bangladesh were efficiently dispatched by a Proteas team missing their IPL stars, but spinners Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer came to the fore, and a thumping innings win over England at Lord’s followed to really raise expectations.

But then the batting was exposed and heavy defeats followed at Old Trafford and the Oval. The Gabba massacre was a continuation of that trend.

The same batting woes often inflicted the T20 side. There were times when the Proteas looked genuine T20 World Cup contenders, like when they beat India away twice in a row in June or won the series in England. Even at the World Cup in Australia, winning a crunch game against India in Perth gave renewed hope; but they then lost to Pakistan and, most humiliatingly, to the Netherlands when just one more win would have seen them through to the semi-finals.

South Africa’s ODI form has been mediocre. The highlight of the last year was the 3-0 series win over India in the Cape, but unfortunately that did not qualify for World Cup qualification points. Their record for the rest of the year in ODIs was three wins and five losses, including a shock home series defeat to Bangladesh.

The Proteas are now struggling to automatically qualify for next year’s 50-over World Cup, especially since they are forfeiting their series in Australia, which was meant to follow the Tests, to concentrate on the SA20 competition, a desperate bid to rescue Cricket South Africa’s finances.

Those same dismal finances are the reason the Proteas are going to be desperately under-exposed at Test level over the next few years, so how can we honestly expect them (especially the batsmen) to get better in that arena? The Australia tour is the last three-Test series South Africa will play until September 2026!

The lack of attention CSA is giving to red-ball cricket is an immense frustration. There are many coaches who believe having a foundation in the skills of long-format cricket actually makes better limited-overs players, so we should not be surprised that the malaise spreads to the ODI and T20 performances.

And it’s not just the Proteas who aren’t getting enough red-ball cricket. Our domestic stars, the internationals of the future, play just seven four-day games the whole season. With the inevitable weather interventions and innings wins, some batsmen will only get 10 visits to the crease all summer.

And then there is the quality of that cricket. It is really annoying that the Proteas play such scant regard to ‘paying it back’ to the system that grew them and play so infrequently, even right before a major series like the current one in Australia.

I have no doubt our batsmen’s woes can be directly attributed to the fact their games are not sufficiently honed at domestic level. They are seldom really challenged from both ends during a game, whereas at international level they will face two fast bowlers roaring in at 140km/h or a top-quality spinner almost the whole time.

Unless these basic building blocks are fixed, we can stand by for another very frustrating year.

Ability of the Titans to keep their wits is something national team should borrow 0

Posted on February 06, 2023 by Ken

The ability of the Northerns Titans to keep their wits about them under pressure is something the national team should maybe try and borrow from them as Mandla Mashimbyi’s side claimed the CSA T20 Challenge title at the weekend with a thrilling victory over the KZN Dolphins in Potchefstroom.

Having restricted KZN to 162/3 after they were 110/1 after 15 overs, the Titans chased their target down with two balls to spare and four wickets in hand, despite slipping to 99/5 after 14 overs. It meant Northerns won a staggering eight of their nine matches in Potchefstroom, with Dayyaan Galiem (32* off 22) and Donavon Ferreira (40 off 25) the heroes in the final as they added 63 off 37 balls for the sixth wicket.

“It was a tough campaign but I think that prepared us for those tight moments in the final,” coach Mashimbyi told The Citizen on Sunday. “We had two low-scoring chases before, the one we came close, the other we nearly stuffed up.

“But there were learnings from that, it gave us an emphasis and a structure of how to chase. If it hadn’t happened, we might have made the same mistakes as in last season’s final.

“The players were able to identify the big moments and the areas they had to look after. The bowling unit was a big highlight for me, that’s what wins you tournaments.

“With the batting, partnerships are the only thing that get you over the line and we had two guys who were able to connect and find a way. It was nice to see us control our emotions,” Mashimbyi said.

The 2021/22 CSA Coach of the Season has high hopes for the 25-year-old Galiem and believes he will become the same sort of expert finisher for the Titans as Farhaan Behardien was, as well as pushing for higher honours.

“Dayyaan has been the big positive for me this tournament, just how he went about his business,” Mashimbyi said. “He was really focused over the winter and worked hard on his finishing skills and power-hitting.

“He’s shown 100% buy-in for what we want to do and I think he can finish for us like how Fudgie used to. Dayyaan Is certainly an up-and-coming star for the Titans and our national teams.

“And he can bowl as well, so he’s a huge talent. That 19th over he bowled that cost just one run and he got Jon-Jon Smuts out brought us back into the game.

“If he keeps on playing like this then I won’t be surprised if he gets a call-up,” Mashimbyi said.

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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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