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Ken Borland



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 AmateurGolf.com 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.

Excellent build-up for SA20 league kicking off next week 0

Posted on October 31, 2023 by Ken

The excellent build-up for the new SA20 tournament continued this week with the news that Sky Sports in the UK have signed a five-year deal to also show the tournament, expanding the global reach of the new T20 league and also bringing in some much-needed hard currency.

With the tournament kicking off in Cape Town next Tuesday evening in Cape Town, everything would seem to be in place for the SA20 to explode into the consciousness of cricket fans.

While co-owners SuperSport will obviously have the African broadcast rights for the league, the all-important Indian market was sown up by the 10-year deal signed with Viacom 18, the dynamic new entertainment network that is growing rapidly on the subcontinent. They are believed to be paying at least $240 000 per game, so this year’s 33 matches will bring in nearly $8 million (R135 million).

Contracts are also being finalised to ensure the tournament is broadcast in other major cricket markets like Australia/New Zealand and the Caribbean.

There is a title sponsor in BetWay, who have signed a “multi-year” deal, and CSA are intimating that the league will make a profit in its first year, having earlier predicted a five-year wait before the SA20 would be in the black.

One does still wonder, however, about a few finer details.

Is a run of five successive fixtures between February 3-7 on the Highveld – with matches at both the Wanderers and SuperSport Park on February 4 – going to enjoy good crowds? The semi-finals follow from February 8 and there is a good chance either the Joburg Super Kings or Pretoria Capitals will be involved in those too.

And is the tournament loadshedding-proof and, if so, are those emergency back-up measures not going to significantly decrease profits?

But here’s hoping for some magnificent action to take our minds off all the troubles currently surrounding South African cricket, never mind the country as a whole.

Having looked into my crystal ball, I would, if forced to, put money on a MI Cape Town versus Paarl Royals final.

MI Cape Town, in particular, have a marvellous attack – Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada and Rashid Khan could bowl 16 of their 20 overs, which leaves opposition batsmen with plenty of thinking to do when it comes to taking them on.

From Godfather Donald to Rabada: Proteas pace rules 0

Posted on October 10, 2022 by Ken

Kagiso Rabada became the second-quickest bowler, in terms of deliveries bowled, to reach 250 Test wickets during South Africa’s almighty thrashing of England at Lord’s, making it three Proteas inside the top-four of that particular statistical honours list.

The great Dale Steyn tops that list, needing just 9 927 deliveries to take 250 wickets, with Rabada reaching the milestone with his 10 065th ball, a clever slower-ball that had a slogging Stuart Broad caught at backward point. Pakistani legend Waqar Younis is third on 10 170 deliveries, with Allan Donald, the godfather of Proteas fast bowling, the fourth quickest (11 559).

Since South Africa’s return from isolation in November 1991, they have taken over from the West Indies as the team that has consistently produced the most lethal fast bowlers, and it was great to see that traditional strength used to such marvellous effect at Lord’s.

Test cricket is arguably at its best, a heavenly spectacle indeed, when great fast bowlers are in action, especially these days when so much is loaded in favour of batsmen.

South Africa is clearly blessed to have four world-class pacemen at the same time in Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen, who played together for the first time at Lord’s.

Sadly, it seems they will not be given enough Test matches to put up the same numbers as some of the other great fast bowlers in the history of the game.

Rabada, for instance, takes his wickets currently at a rate of 4.71 per Test. With just 28 Test matches scheduled for the Proteas over the next five years, given the same strike-rate, Rabada will be on around 380 Test wickets, still well short of breaking Steyn’s mark of 439 as South Africa’s most prolific bowler. Even Steyn himself expected Rabada to cruise past his record, but if South Africa keep playing as few Tests as they do, it will take the man who sprang to fame as the spearhead of the U19 side that won the Junior World Cup until he is in his mid-30s to claim the record.

For neutrals, South Africa’s demolition of England at Lord’s must have made for compelling viewing. Surely the International Cricket Council would want to ensure their fans get to see more of that?

Thakur rips through before India withstand fiery Proteas burst 0

Posted on February 07, 2022 by Ken

Shardul Thakur ripped through the South African first innings with record figures before India withstood a fiery burst from the Proteas pacemen to reach 85/2 at stumps on the second day of the second Test at the Wanderers on Tuesday.

Thakur, India’s fourth seamer but fulfilling a key role as Mohammed Siraj was limited to just six overs on Tuesday due to a hamstring strain, claimed wonderful figures of 7/61 in 17.5 overs as the Proteas were bowled out for 229. They are the best ever figures for an Indian bowler against South Africa, beating the 7/66 off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took at Nagpur in 2015/16.

Leading by 27 runs on first innings, Marco Jansen and Duanne Olivier then each took a wicket before Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane added 41 as India finished the second day 58 runs ahead with eight wickets in hand.

Resuming on 35/1, Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen withstood a frustrating pitch for batsmen given the variable bounce and excessive movement off the surface, adding 74 for the second wicket to take the Proteas to 88/1. India, missing a bowler, were starting to feel the pressure as the morning burst from Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah had been weathered.

But Thakur, a bustling bowler of brisk pace, then roared through the top-order, taking three wickets in 16 deliveries, without conceding a run. Elgar was caught behind for a 170-minute 28 and Petersen scored a determined but positive 62, his maiden Test half-century in his sixth innings, before driving loosely and edging a catch to second slip.

Thakur’s third wicket was that of Rassie van der Dussen (1), who was given out caught behind on what became the last ball before lunch, having inside-edged a delivery that jagged back into him, and bounced more than expected, on to his back leg, from where it went to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

But the South African camp were angered by the umpires not checking whether the catch was legitimate, replays showing the ball had bounced in front of Pant’s gloves. It was the second time in the morning session that he had claimed a catch on the bounce.

From 102/4 at lunch, Temba Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne added 60 for the fifth wicket. But Thakur’s return half-an-hour before tea saw South Africa suffer two further setbacks as he trapped a leaden-footed Verreynne lbw for a useful 21 and then had Bavuma caught behind for 51, glancing a lifter down the leg-side and Pant taking a fine diving catch. It was Bavuma’s 17th Test half-century and he once again showed his grittiness and ability to make tough runs.

Jansen and Keshav Maharaj also made 21s to ensure India began their second innings marginally behind. They lost their openers inside the first dozen overs, Lokesh Rahul (8) being well-caught inches off the turf by Aiden Markram at second slip off left-armer Jansen, and Mayank Agarwal (23) shouldering arms to Olivier and being trapped lbw.

But the positive Pujara, who has hit seven fours off 42 balls, repelled an aggressive South African attack to shift the momentum again before stumps.

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    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



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