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Ken Borland



Dawson cleans up her game after rocky start to move 2 clear 0

Posted on March 12, 2024 by Ken

GEORGE, Western Cape – Ana Dawson moved two shots clear at the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt on Saturday, managing to clean up her game after a rocky start, posting an excellent three-under-par 69 to move to four-under overall.

With the terrible weather of the opening round clearing, scores were lower at both the Montague and Outeniqua courses on Saturday. Alexandra Swayne also shot a 69 to move to two-under-par alongside Scotland’s Kylie Henry (70) in second place.

Dawson, who led by one after a 71 in the first round, began her round on Montague on Saturday with two bogeys in the first three holes, although she did birdie the par-three second.

The 22-year-old from the Isle of Man was much tidier thereafter, however, not dropping another shot until the par-four 15th. In between, Dawson birdied the sixth, ninth and 11th holes. She then brought a big finish as she birdied the par-four 16th and par-five 18th holes to end the day in prime position going into the final round.

South Africans Kiera Floyd (70) and Cara Gorlei (69) also did well on the Montague course to be tied for fourth on one-under, but there is a new local challenger in contention in veteran Lee-Anne Pace, who won this tournament in 2014 when it was down the road at George Golf Club.

Pace fired a fine 69, with six birdies and three bogeys to join her compatriots on one-under-par. The highlight of her round was an eagle-three on the ninth hole, while she also birdied the sixth and 10th holes. Her only bogey came on the par-four 14th.

Williams cashes in on Leopard Creek par-5s & ever-growing confidence 0

Posted on December 07, 2023 by Ken

Robin Williams tees off on the par-four ninth hole in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

Robin Williams was able to cash in on the par-fives and his own ever-growing confidence as he soared to the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the co-sanctioned Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek on Thursday.

Williams birdied three of the four par-fives on the scenic course on the border of the Kruger National Park, on his way to shooting a phenomenal seven-under-par 65, enough to give the England-based golfer a one-stroke lead.

Starting his round on the back nine also helped Williams because three of the par-fives are on that stretch, and he went to the turn on a very promising four-under. Back-to-back birdies on the par-five 15th and par-three 16th built on earlier gains on the par-four 11th and the famous par-five 13th hole overlooking the Crocodile River.

Williams birdied the first and par-five second holes as well, before his one and only dropped shot, on the par-four third hole with its strategically-placed bunkers and sloping green. But the 22-year-old finished in style with birdies on the sixth and eighth holes, continuing the impressive form he has shown in his first full season on the Sunshine Tour, after his maiden victory in October’s Fortress Invitational at Glendower.

“It was pretty fun out there today and I played well,” Williams smiled on an overcast and cool day in Malelane. “I didn’t really hit the ball in the rough although I was in a few furry spots. The greens were a lot firmer and quicker than I think everyone expected after all the rain, but I took advantage of the par-fives.

“Since that first win, I’ve gained masses of confidence over my last half-dozen tournaments on the Sunshine Tour. The courses are tougher and more penalising in these co-sanctioned events, but it’s been about adapting and learning. I probably put more pressure on myself than anything external, so I still need to handle that and my emotions, it’s not just your game you have to think about out there.

“But today is another massive confidence boost, I can now say I shot 65 around Leopard Creek, no-one can take that away from me and I can sleep happy tonight,” Williams said.

Williams grew up in Peterborough and came through the English amateur system, but he was born in South Africa and plays under that flag.

There were other outstanding South African performers in the top-10 of the leaderboard on Thursday, showing that we have some exceptional talent coming through.

Jayden Schaper, who acquitted himself so well in the final group of the South African Open last weekend at Blair Atholl, bounced back from that disappointment with a superb 66 to share second place with Spain’s Manuel Elvira.

Casey Jarvis was also quickly back on the horse after fading at Blair Atholl as he fired a 67, a score matched by two of the most exciting amateurs in the system, Christiaan Maas and Christo Lamprecht. They share fourth place on five-under with a more experienced South African in Jaco Prinsloo, New Zealander Samuel Jones and Scott Jamieson, the Scotsman who loves Leopard Creek and shared the lead going into last year’s final round, before finishing in a tie for 12th, having fired a course-record 63 on the second day.

“I know this course very well and where to leave it,” Schaper said after collecting seven birdies and making just one bogey. “So I kept it on the right side of the fairways and greens, I just kept it simple and tried to have the best angles coming in.

“I’m just sticking to my game-plan, my game has been good and I just want to keep it the same. It’s a clever course, you can’t go directly at the flags, you have to be careful of the run-offs and look at your angles,” the 22-year-old Schaper said.

The joke’s on Lawrence as Strydom goes out & breaks his course record himself 0

Posted on March 29, 2023 by Ken

Ockie Strydom told fellow South African Thriston Lawrence that someone needed to address the problem of his inability to break the Blair Atholl course record on the second day of the South African Open, and he then went out and did it himself as they both thoroughly entertained the public and ended on top of the leaderboard on Friday.

Lawrence had led after the first day as he fired an eight-under-par 64, equalling the course record he set in October 2021 in the Blair Atholl Championship. Strydom jokingly ribbed him about being unable to break the record on the driving range on Friday morning … and then went out and shot a phenomenal nine-under-par 63 that rocketed him up the leaderboard to second.

Lawrence held on to his lead, however, as he posted an impressive five-under 67 in the second round, moving to 13-under for the tournament, two ahead of Strydom.

“I said to Thriston that someone must break the course record today and he just said ‘We’ll see’,” Strydom said after his bogey-free round that included two hat-tricks of birdies, from the fifth hole and the 11th hole.

“But I had plenty of fun, it was pleasant out there and I hit the ball as well as I can and in the right places. I played it safe to the tough flags and just made sure I missed in the right places.

“Today was exceptional and I am in a good position. On the weekend I will just try to keep my head in the game, be positive and go out and hit the ball as well as I can,” Strydom said.

Lawrence sealed his lead, and held off Strydom’s challenge, by making four birdies in his last five holes.

“Ockie had an unbelievable round today, but fortunately I had a good finish,” Lawrence said. “He said this morning that I must break my course record and now he has done it.

“It will be lekker playing together in the third round and hopefully we can make sure a South African wins the tournament.”

Lawrence continued to attack the longest course in DP World Tour history off the tee, saying “Driver has been the best club in my bag all year”. Starting his round on the 10th hole, he birdied the 12th and 13th, but his round then lost a bit of momentum as he made pars the rest of the way to the turn, three-putting the par-five 18th for par. Bogeys at one and four meant his lead was well and truly under threat, but he then sank a series of impressive putts to pull clear again.

Frenchman Clement Sordet (66) and amateur Christian Maas (65) both enjoyed brilliant days as they moved to 10-under and tied for third.

Blair Atholl the road less travelled, but Lawrence has been there before & equals his course record 0

Posted on March 14, 2023 by Ken

Playing the Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate course is the road less travelled for most of the South African Open field, but Thriston Lawrence has been there before and he equalled his course record on the massive Gary Player designed layout to top the leaderboard after the first round on Thursday.

The course has only hosted one professional event before – the Blair Atholl Championship in October 2021 – and Lawrence claimed the course record with a remarkable 64 in the final round that catapulted him into sixth place.

On Thursday he repeated that performance with another eight-under-par 64 to end the first day of the SA Open with a one-stroke lead. Lawrence, who won the rookie of the year award for the 2022 DP World Tour, birdied the second hole but then bogeyed the par-three third. From then on it was a cruise for the highly-promising 25-year-old as he gathered eight more birdies, five of them on the back nine.

The sheer length of the Blair Atholl course – at 7461 metres it is the longest in DP World Tour history – may be daunting for many in the field, but Lawrence enjoys the challenge.

“That was good fun,” Lawrence smiled after signing for his 64, “this course is quite familiar to me after I played the Sunshine Tour event here last year and I’m very happy to tie my course record from the final round then.

“I just tried to keep doing what I do, stick to the game-plan and be aggressive off the tee, and I hit good drives, my approach play was really great and I dropped a few putts today.

“It’s really long, but I like hitting full shots into the green, mid-to-long irons are my game. My long game is my strength and this course definitely suits me.

“It’s just good on the eye for me, the course just seems open for me and obviously I brought a bit of confidence today from that last round last year,” Lawrence said.

Englishman Ross Fisher, another of the longer hitters on tour, also went to town on the back nine, collecting five birdies as well, adding to the three birdies and a bogey, also on the third, he had on the front nine, to finish one behind Lawrence on seven-under. Fisher’s last DP World Tour win came at the 2014 Tshwane Open, which was played at Copperleaf, the previous longest-ever course in tour history, so that is a good omen for the 42-year-old.

Jens Fahrbring, the 38-year-old Swede, joined Fisher on seven-under with a superb bogey-free 65 as dusk settled over Lanseria.

Germany’s Matti Schmid held the clubhouse lead for much of the day with three eagles leading him to a six-under 66, where Scott Jamieson joined him late in the day, the Scot also going bogey-free. JJ Senekal also posted 66.

Luke Brown, who won the Blair Atholl Championship last year, parked himself on five-under with a 67 that also did not feature a single dropped shot. Spain’s Santiago Tarrio and Italian Edoardo Molinari also posted 67s, as did Northern Ireland’s Tom McKibbin, who made a hole-in-one on the 213-metre par-three 11th in just his second DP World Tour start.

South Africa’s Hennie du Plessis also registered an ace, on the par-three third hole.

Wilco Nienaber, perhaps the longest hitter of them all, also finished on five-under, offsetting a double-bogey five at the 17th with an eagle on the par-five closing hole.

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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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