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Ken Borland



Coetzee has the experience, composure & skill to get the job done despite golf being a capricious mistress 0

Posted on February 06, 2023 by Ken

ST FRANCIS BAY, Eastern Cape – Golf is a capricious mistress and George Coetzee has been in the game for long enough to know the swing he has one day might not be around the next, but the two-time Sunshine Tour order of merit champion had the experience, composure and skill to get the job done on Sunday as he clinched his second PGA Championship title at the St Francis Links.

Coetzee had just a one-stroke lead going into the final round, but a polished four-under-par 68 on Sunday, which included two eagles and almost a third, carried him to 15-under-par and a three-stroke victory in the prestigious R1.2 million tournament.

“I was pretty much under pressure all day, I didn’t really feel comfortable and my swing wasn’t 100%,” Coetzee said after claiming his 14th Sunshine Tour title.

“But golf is one of those games, it’s not like cycling where the more you cycle the better you get. You can have one swing on one day and then the next day another swing.

“So I was putting pressure on myself, but I stuck to the game-plan, made good choices and hit good shots, and luckily it was enough in the end,” Coetzee said.

Some of those shots were better than good as an eagle on the par-five third hole brought some early pleasure, and he holed out with a sand-wedge for an eagle-two on the par-four 10th hole. In between those highlights, he could also have eagled the 350-yard par-four fifth hole after driving the green, but his putt was narrowly wide.

“We were put on the clock on the fifth and I didn’t have time to read my putt properly,” Coetzee laughed.

Unusually, Coetzee made bogey on the following hole on both occasions he registered an eagle.

“I was really happy with my two eagles after I saw a lot of chances in the third round. But then it was a bit hard to calm down and get back into my rhythm, get my head back into a good space,” Coetzee admitted.

But back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes put him firmly in control of the tournament and he parred his way in from the 14th for a comfortable victory in the end.

Rookie Casey Jarvis produced his best Sunshine Tour result as he finished second after a final-round 69, and the experienced duo of Hennie Otto and Jake Redman were tied in third place, one stroke behind on 11-under-par, both shooting two-under-par 70s on Sunday.

Coetzee will now head to Sun City and this week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge, which is like the AGM of South African professional golf, assured that he has the game in place to contend for that massive title.

“The confidence I take from beating the field here is a big boost and I’m generally pretty happy with the swing that has shown up for the last couple of weeks,” Coetzee said.

Naidoo beaming after his day out in the strong winds & cold of the St Francis Links 0

Posted on November 25, 2022 by Ken

CAPE ST FRANCIS, Eastern Cape – The St Francis Links on a completely overcast, drizzly and blustery day on the rugged southern coastline of the Eastern Cape would probably not be your first choice for a relaxed round of golf, but 24-year-old Dylan Naidoo was beaming after his day out in the strong winds and cold on the first day of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Pro-Am.

And it’s not as if Naidoo had a stellar round of golf to smile about either: He reckons he was no more than solid and praised his pro-am partner Malcolm Subramony for having a great day.

Naidoo was just delighted to be back at one of his favourite courses, playing in the Vodacom Origins of Golf series he, and his fellow pros, appreciate so much.

“The last time I played here I was just 17 years old and it is such a phenomenal course. It tests every aspect of your game and I feel like I’m a very different player to when I was last here,” Naidoo said. “I enjoyed it so much, it tests where your game is at in a lot of different ways.

“And the Vodacom Origins of Golf series is great, as a younger golfer you are pretty much guaranteed to get in if you have your tour card. The series teaches you how to be a pro and it allows you to network with the amateurs. The pro-am is always a lot of fun and you get to know all the Vodacom people and their clients.

“It’s a lovely way to get in a practice round ahead of the Sunshine Tour event starting on Thursday, you can play with your mates and have fun, and I enjoy it a lot.

“It basically teaches you how to go about your business on tour. It was a big help when I started out as a pro and it’s a big help still now,” Naidoo, who joined the Sunshine Tour in 2019/20 after a stellar amateur career, said.

While Naidoo has made his big break by earning playing privileges on the Korn Ferry Tour in the United States, he is one of the first intake of the Papwa Sewgolum Development Class that aims to fast-track the success of golfers of colour who have been previously disadvantaged.

“I’ve been a transformation golfer for the last three years and, since the Papwa Sewgolum Class came into being in June, I have seen really nice growth in our group of golfers.

“It helps the guys realise that they are very good players, they deserve to be here, and it’s about giving them every opportunity to be successful.

“Starting out on tour can be financially very difficult, especially if you come from a disadvantaged background. Now there’s a system in place, with each of the golfers getting a bit of a stipend every month, that will really help,” Naidoo said.

Porteous keeps the confidence but loses the arrogance … and wins 0

Posted on January 18, 2016 by Ken

 

Haydn Porteous said his mother Belinda always told him to sound confident but not be arrogant, and the 21-year-old heeded her advice both on and off the course, leading to a life-changing victory in the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Sunday.

Porteous claimed his maiden European Tour victory as he shot a rock-solid 69 on the final day to beat Zander Lombard, also a former South African amateur star, by two strokes. The measure of how well he played was that he hit all 18 greens in regulation, an astonishing achievement, but a cold putter made life difficult for Porteous as he only collected three birdies.

Coming a week after Brandon Stone’s triumph at the South African Open, Porteous’s victory just reinforced the feeling that the new generation of local golf stars has arrived.

But the Johannesburg-born golfer acknowledged that Stone’s win had also been the catalyst for him to take a good look at how he was approaching his golf.

“My mother always says that I must sound confident but not be arrogant, and there is a hint of arrogance in me. I needed to get into the right frame of mind, I knew I could practise more and gym harder. If you know you’re doing the right things, then your confidence increases.

“Brandon’s win gave me a big kick in the arse, he’s been doing all the right things, while I was not. It was very motivational and inspirational to see him win and I knew I couldn’t carry on the way I was. I definitely played more conservatively this week and I had a good game plan, just aiming for the middle of the green all the time,” Porteous said.

While golfers of lesser composure would have been tearing their hair out after all those missed putts, Stone and Lombard’s 2012 Eisenhower Trophy team-mate remained philosophical.

“I hit the ball incredibly all day, I missed a few fairways but not by much, and I really found my groove with my irons, especially on the back nine where I really flushed them. But every day is different and I putted well in the third round. Maybe I didn’t see the lines today, maybe I was reading too much into them, but 69 is not a terrible score,” Porteous said.

Lombard had a two-shot lead after six holes after two birdies, but a frustrating three-putt on the ninth and two further bogeys on the 11th and 14th holes saw him slip back. In the end, he had to birdie the last to sneak into second on 16-under and qualify, alongside Porteous, for the Open Championship, by a hair’s breadth, the day before he turns 21.

Englishman Anthony Wall claimed the third qualifying spot for the Open by virtue of his superior world ranking, after a frustrating level-par 72 left him in third place on 15-under tied with Sweden’s Bjorn Akesson, South African Justin Walters and Daniel Im of America.

 

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    “If your vision of him grows dim, your service will become powerless and ineffective. This will happen if your spiritual reserves are not regularly replenished through prayer and meditation.

    “You must put him first in all your activities. Your service for him must be the result of your intimate knowledge of him. Only when he enjoys priority in all things, can you understand life from his perspective. Putting Christ first in your life and work makes you a more capable servant of God.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech



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