for quality writing

Ken Borland



Ahlers wins as 3rd visit to water not redeemable for Van Zyl 0

Posted on May 05, 2016 by Ken

A third visit to the water on the 18th hole in the playoff was not redeemable for Jaco van Zyl as Jaco Ahlers clinched the Chase to the Investec Cup final and won the lucrative R3.5 million bonus pool for the overall standings leader as well.

Van Zyl and Ahlers both shot brilliant 66s on the final day to finish on nine-under-par, one stroke ahead of Justin Harding and overnight leader George Coetzee, and had to go down the 18th three more times in the playoff before Ahlers sank a six-foot putt for par to take the biggest win of his career.

On the second playoff hole, Van Zyl staged a remarkable recovery to make par after his drive went in the water and his third shot, after dropping, found the hazard in front of the green. But an excellent chip enabled him to save par, which Ahlers could not beat as he sent his drive way left into a waste bunker and he had to lay up.

But Van Zyl astonishingly sent his third playoff drive into the same watery grave and this time his third also landed up in the water in front of the green.

Ahlers had also found the water off the tee but, hitting his third after Van Zyl’s errant approach, he took the conservative route and laid up in front of the green, before chipping on and leaving himself with a testing little six-footer for the win.

The R3.5 million bonus pool prize, plus R163 400 for winning the final, is by far the biggest paycheque ever for Ahlers, but the 32-year-old who plays out of Koro Creek Golf Estate, said he was more motivated for his third Sunshine Tour title than for the money.

“It’s amazing to win but I really haven’t had much time to think about it. I just wanted to win, I wasn’t thinking about the money, but we have just bought a house so it will come in handy,” Ahlers, a father of two, said.

It’s been a life-changing four months for Ahlers as his victory in the Cape Town Open in November earned him a place in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, where he finished in a tie for 21st and took home R1.3 million. That win in the Mother City also came in a playoff.

“I was pretty calm today. Four months ago I won a four-hole playoff to win the Cape Town Open and my first win in 2009 also came in a playoff, so that gave me confidence,” Ahlers said.

The soon-to-be George resident started the day four strokes behind Coetzee, but cashed in on a hot putter, with birdies on the third, fifth and seventh holes, as well as chipping in for eagle from the bunker on the par-five fourth.

Coetzee, meanwhile, was having an average day, having dropped a shot on the par-three fourth when he found the bunker, but birdies on the two par-fives on the front nine (4th & 7th) and another on the par-four 14th meant he was still hanging on to a share of the lead as he reached the penultimate hole.

But his drive on the tricky 450-metre par-four 17th, the toughest hole on the final day, was awful, so far left that it appeared to be heading into the Pilanesberg Game Reserve.

Coetzee miraculously found his ball in the thick bushveld, but it was totally unplayable, so he had to reload and play three off the tee, leading to a double-bogey.

The 28-year-old did make a remarkable birdie on the last, after hitting a wood out of the waste bunker just too far and running out of green, into the water behind, but it was not enough to keep his title hopes alive.

Van Zyl, meanwhile, birdied four of the last five holes to post nine-under as the clubhouse lead and, once Ahlers found the bunker off the tee on 17 to drop a shot and then could only par 18 after his approach went into the bunker behind the green, it was all about the two Jacos as they went into the playoff.

It was not all smooth sailing for Ahlers, but he made the clutch putts that mattered.

*In the Investec Cup for Ladies, Lee-Anne Pace continued her all-conquering run through the series, winning the final by eight strokes.

http://citizen.co.za/349066/ahlers-wins-as-van-zyl-perishes-in-the-water/

Koro Creek’s Ahlers takes the Investec bonus pool 0

Posted on April 22, 2016 by Ken

 

The members of Koro Creek Golf Estate in Modimolle are probably still celebrating after their representative, Jaco Ahlers, claimed the second-biggest paycheque on the Sunshine Tour by winning the Chase to the Investec Cup final at the Lost City on Sunday, thereby winning the R3.5 million bonus pool for topping the standings at the end of the season-long competition.

While Ahlers was celebrating the best day of his golfing career, there was bitter disappointment for Jaco van Zyl, who lost in a playoff that was only decided on the third trip down the 18th hole, and for overnight leader George Coetzee, who bombed out of contention with a double-bogey on the 17th.

Playoffs are nervewracking affairs at the best of times and Van Zyl recovered magnificently on their second trip down the 18th after putting his drive into the water down the right-hand side of the fairway and then leaving his third in the hazard in front of the green. But he did not get lucky a second time when his third playoff drive went in the same spot and his third shot, after dropping, was in the water in front of the green.

Ahlers, having slotted a pair of five-foot putts to halve the first two playoff holes, calmly slotted a six-footer for par to claim the spoils and continue his excellent record in playoffs.

“I was pretty calm. Three months ago I won a four-hole playoff to win the Cape Town Open and my first win in 2009 also came in a playoff, so that gave me confidence. It’s amazing to win and I still haven’t had time to think about it, really. I just wanted to win, I wasn’t thinking about the money, but we have just bought a house so it will help,” Ahlers said.

Although Van Zyl was not able to clinch the deal, he was philosophical about the loss, saying the 18th was not the sort of hole that suited his game and all he could think about was ‘do not hit the ball right into the water’.

The 13-time Sunshine Tour winner played superbly, however, just to make the playoff with four birdies in the last five holes.

Ahlers matched Van Zyl, an eagle on the fourth, with two birdies either side of it, and three birdies in a row from the 11th laying the foundation for his 66.

Coetzee still had a share of the lead after his third birdie of his round on the par-four 14th, but he was not able to hang on to it as a wretched drive on the 17th, which was so far left it was almost in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, led to a double-bogey.

Even a remarkable birdie on the 18th was not enough. His drive was far left in the waste bunker and a well-struck wood from there just ran out of green and went into the water. Coetzee dropped and then sank his fourth from the fringe.

*Lee-Anne Pace was not challenged over the three days of the Investec Cup for Ladies and strolled to an eight-stroke victory on Sunday, also winning the bonus pool for the second year in succession.

Fisher Jnr looking to cap big year 0

Posted on January 30, 2016 by Ken

It’s been a big year for Trevor Fisher Junior and he could cap it all in the Chase to the Investec Cup Final over the weekend as he goes into the defence of his title at number one in the standings and with his eyes set once again on the R3.5 million bonus pool first prize.

Fisher Junior described his victory in last year’s event – winning both the tournament and the bonus pool prize – as life-changing and the 35-year-old then added victory in the Africa Open and a cherished European Tour exemption to his CV two weeks ago.

The Modderfontein golfer has a lead of 111.73 points in the standings and will collect a minimum of 180 points even if he finishes 30th and last in the elite-field event. Victory in the final comes with 1500 points, so that means there are 21 golfers who can catch Fisher Junior.

And Charl Schwartzel, South Africa’s highest-ranked golfer at number 33, is one of those in the field.

Schwartzel is currently at 14th in the Investec Cup standings, 1160.65 points behind Fisher Junior, but his focus is half on the Masters next month at Augusta, where he won in 2011.

George Coetzee, at number 67 in the world rankings, won the Tshwane Open at Pretoria Country Club last weekend in a display of impressive attacking golf and he will clearly be a threat this weekend as well.

The Investec Cup final starts at the Millvale Private Retreat in Koster, outside Rustenburg, on Thursday and, after two rounds there, moves to the Lost City course at Sun City for the finale.

Coetzee led going into the last round at the Lost City last year before being overtaken by Fisher Junior, so he has a score to settle.

The overseas challenge will be led by Morten Orum Madsen, the former SA Open champion, who is 19th in the standings.

The other South Africans who are strongly in the running for the bonus pool are Jacques Blaauw, second in the Tshwane Open last weekend, Danie van Tonder, Jaco Ahlers and the consistent Dean Burmester.

http://citizen.co.za/346429/fisher-junior-looking-to-cap-big-year/

R3.5 million at stake with Fisher Jnr in prime position 0

Posted on January 18, 2016 by Ken

 

A prize of R3.5 million is at stake as the Chase to the Investec Cup Final tees off at the Millvale Private Retreat west of Rustenburg on Thursday with Trevor Fisher Junior on top of the standings with a 111.73-point lead.

But his defence of his title – as well as the first place on the standings he achieved last year – will be under attack from classy golfers like Charl Schwartzel, George Coetzee and Morten Orum Madsen, as well as in-form locals like Jacques Blaauw, Dean Burmester, Keith Horne and Wallie Coetsee.

With 1500 points on offer for the winner of the Chase to the Investec Cup Final, and 180 points guaranteed for last place, Fisher Junior can be overtaken by 21 of the 30-man field for the big prize when the tournament ends on Sunday at the Lost City.

Apart from Fisher Junior, who won the Africa Open two weeks ago and has done so well in the co-sanctioned events that he is 23rd in the Race to Dubai, the other golfer coming into the tournament with great form is Dean Burmester, who had top-20 finishes in the Dimension Data Pro-Am and the Joburg, Africa and Tshwane Opens.

Coetzee, in 11th place in the standings, 829.15 points behind Fisher Junior, put some poor form behind him as he won the Tshwane Open in fine style last weekend and the world number 67 led going into the final round of the Investec Cup final last year so he has a score to settle.

There is plenty of water around Millvale to have errant golfers in trouble, while the greens are slick and, given that Gary Player was one of the designers, canny bunkering is no surprise.

With overseas players like Andy Sullivan and Kevin Phelan, and locals like Branden Grace and Thomas Aiken turning down the chance to play for the bonus pool, Sunshine Tour regulars like Justin Harding, Louis de Jager, Jbe’ Kruger and Chris Swanepoel have earned a ticket to the lucrative summer finale in North-West.

 

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Don’t be so busy – even working for God – that you don’t have regular quiet time. Don’t let your activities become more important than your time with the Father. You can be alive ‘for’ God without experiencing the presence and power of the living Christ.

    “Attempting to serve the Lord without the strength of the Holy Spirit results in frustration and ultimate disaster.

    “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



↑ Top