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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.

Elgar goes from pumping up the tyres of his team-mates to telling them it’s time to make amends 0

Posted on October 11, 2023 by Ken

Proteas captain Dean Elgar has spent much of the series pumping up the tyres of his team-mates, telling them how good they are, but now that Australia have won the rubber, he said on Tuesday, on the eve of the third and final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, that it was time for the team to make amends.

Well-beaten in both Brisbane and Melbourne, Elgar has made it clear that there is still much to play for and he expects his team to do everything in their power to restore some pride.

“There’s nowhere to hide in Test cricket and the top five need to find a way to execute their batting disciplines,” Elgar said. “Whatever we do in terms of selection, hopefully we provide a better spectacle than in the first two games.

“There’s also a lot for us still to play for – the World Test Championship final is a massive incentive – and we should be playing every Test like it is our last.

“But talk is cheap, we need to go out and perform and really make amends. It’s very frustrating because these are really talented players, but it just hasn’t gone our way.

“We want to go home with a lot of pride restored and so there’s still a lot to play for, as well as our position in the World Test Championship. It’s about how we rise up to the challenge and grasp the opportunity,” Elgar said.

Cynics would say whatever changes South Africa make to their XI will be like putting mag wheels on a skedonk. But the Proteas have to make at least one change due to Theunis de Bruyn returning home for the birth of his daughter.

“The only options in our squad in terms of batsmen are Rassie van der Dussen and Heinrich Klaasen,” Elgar confirmed. “Rassie has played for an extended period at Test level so he’s more experienced, while Heinrich is immensely talented and maybe deserves an extended chance.”

South Africa could well make a second change, bringing in a second spinner – Simon Harmer – but Elgar intimated that the off-spinner would have to replace another bowler.

“We need to have another look at the pitch, but Simon is definitely in the mix because Sydney has been low and slow, with a bit or turn, recently, so that might force our hand,” the captain said.

“But Keshav Maharaj is still our number one spinner and I’m still a 6/5 fan, that’s what I’m thinking. But all options are on the table, although playing seven batsmen makes it a massive ask for the bowlers.

“They’ve had a big workload, especially in the last Test when they racked up big numbers of overs. So it’s a big ask to have just four bowlers, especially only three seamers,” Elgar said.

Time for the Proteas to be impertinent guests (belatedly) 0

Posted on September 26, 2023 by Ken

The time has come for the Proteas to belatedly be impertinent guests and produce some much-needed defiance when the third and final Test against Australia starts at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the early hours of Wednesday morning (SA time).

The series is gone after the Australians ran roughshod over the Proteas in Brisbane and Melbourne but, astonishingly given how poor their recent form has been, South Africa are still in contention for a place in the World Test Championship final. But victory in Sydney is vital, not just to keep that door open, but also to arrest what has been a humiliating slide in the performance of their batsmen.

While a return to the nastiness of the 2018 series is not wanted, there is a feeling that the Proteas have been too nice, a bit too soft, with their opposition and it is time they stood up and refused to be bullied.

It took one of the youngest players in the squad, 22-year-old Marco Jansen, to voice the necessity for the Proteas to show some mongrel.

“We know everyone is giving their best, but we all need to try and figure out what we can do as an individual for the betterment of the team,” Jansen said on Monday.

“You’re not always going to get hundred partnerships or two batsmen getting centuries so you score more than 500 and win; sometimes it might be about taking five blows to the body or bowling seven consecutive overs.

“Whatever you can do as an individual, sometimes a 70-run partnership can be the matchwinning one. We need to try and recognise those small moments that all add up and can make a big difference.

“We have the skill. It’s just about making a mental shift, a conscious decision to put your hand up and do whatever it takes to influence the team in a positive way,” Jansen said.

A confident Australian team spares nobody and South Africa need to show the same ruthlessness.

“We need to try and see those moments when the opposition is not comfortable, not shy away, and go even harder,” Jansen added. “We have no choice now, we have to take a difficult situation and turn it into a positive.

“We can choose either to run away or front up, which gives you the best chance of performing. It has not been easy on the field, but we will definitely face the challenge.

“We have three Tests until the World Test Championship final and we want to win all three to have the best chance of qualifying.

“So we are not just thinking this is another game and we can just cruise through. There is still a big goal and purpose for us,” Jansen said.

Proteas back in Australia – this time in white clothing 0

Posted on April 24, 2023 by Ken

The Proteas are back in Australia, but this time they will be in white clothing as they prepare for their crucial three-Test series, their shock exit from the T20 World Cup a month ago in Adelaide put behind them, according to interim head coach Malibongwe Maketa.

Seven of the crestfallen T20 squad are also in the Test group, including players such as Temba Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada, who had poor World Cups, and a player like Marco Jansen who did not get to play a game.

“It’s a totally different format and we made sure the T20 players had a longer break both mentally and physically,” Maketa said in Brisbane on Tuesday.

“The players who were here during the World Cup have been able to contribute in terms of conditions and I have challenged them to bring energy to the team.

“In terms of their mental space, the turnaround has happened sooner than expected, so that is really positive. And some guys are coming off good performances at home.

“We have one warm-up game and it’s important for us, we will get all the batsmen to have a chance and monitor our bowlers. It’s crucial for us to get exposed to the pitches,” Maketa said.

The Proteas have already been tested with questions about the acrimonious previous Test series between the two teams – the Sandpapergate Tests of 2017/18 – with the Australian media hoping someone will put their foot in their mouth, but the South Africans have so far brushed off the controversy as something in the past.

“It’s most definitely not an issue for this group. There were only a handful of us involved and it changed people’s careers because it was an unfortunate incident. But that was way back then,” Maketa said.

The 42-year-old, seasoned coach also seems to have been wearing his drill sergeant cap since the Proteas arrived in Australia.

“It’s important as a coach to remember that the only way I can affect the game is through preparation. I know some of the guys are not liking me at the moment because I have put them through some really hard sessions.

“But when the Test starts, I hand over to Dean Elgar and the players. Then it’s about how we support them as coaching staff, constantly thinking how we can turn things around or stay ahead in the game.

“We give that info to the players and it’s down to them. We must never get in the way of the players, we have to trust the work we’ve done and ensure the environment is conducive for them to perform,” Maketa said.

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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.



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