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Ken Borland

Chip-in and then birdie the key blows for Rohwer and Bremner 0

Posted on September 23, 2022 by Ken

CENTURION, Gauteng – Chipping in on the 10th green and then making birdie on the 13th proved to be the key blows as Martin Rohwer and Merrick Bremner held off the chasing pack to win the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship by six strokes at Blue Valley Golf Estate on Saturday.

Rohwer and Bremner took a four-stroke lead into the betterball final round of the R1.2 million event, but that had all but evaporated as Combrinck Smit nailed a hole-in-one on the 173m second hole and then Erhard Lambrechts sank his second for an albatross on the par-five third hole.

But they are relative greenhorns compared to Bremner and Rohwer and the KwaZulu-Natal duo held their nerve superbly in tough, blustery conditions. Even so, they were only a couple of strokes ahead as they completed the front nine, before Rohwer chipped in for eagle on the 10th and Bremner made an important birdie putt on the par-five 13th.

“The wind was up today so it made it tough,” Rohwer said. “But we hung in there and dovetailed together quite well. The chip-in at 10 and then a huge birdie at 13 when Merrick chipped it almost dead, just pulled us clear a bit.

“We had seen a scoreboard on the ninth so we knew exactly how well Erhard and Combrinck were doing. But we stayed pretty aggressive and those three shots gained made it much easier for us down the stretch,” Rohwer said.

Bremner and Rohwer birdied the 15th and then the par-five closing hole to finish with a 62 and 28-under-par overall. Lambrechts and Smit eventually posted a 61 to leave themselves on 22-under, alongside Jean Hugo and Hennie du Plessis, who were also 11-under on Saturday.

The victory was a particular relief for Bremner, a 36-year-old tour veteran for whom success has been as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster over the last year or so. It is his first victory since 2020.

For Rohwer, who claimed his second title at the Vodacom Origins of Golf final in January, the triumph rounded off a near-perfect week.

“It really helps with my exemption category which was going to run out in January. So now I’m in all the big co-sanctioned events and it’s just nice to win after putting in all the prep.

“It’s also massive for Merrick, who was great to have as a partner. It’s always special teaming up with a mate.

“And I absolutely loved the betterball-foursomes-betterball format, from start to finish,” Rohwer said.

‘Hutchie’’s “ouch!” comment remembered as Rohwer is delighted with partner Bremner’s long hitting 0

Posted on September 22, 2022 by Ken

CENTURION, Gauteng – Merrick Bremner is one of the longest hitters on the Sunshine Tour – Denis Hutchinson’s comment that the ball says “Ouch!” whenever he hits it will be long remembered – and his playing partner Martin Rohwer was delighted to be on his team as they surged into the lead in the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship at Blue Valley Golf Estate on Friday.

Rohwer and Bremner dominated the foursomes in the second round of the R1.2 million event, shooting a six-under-par 66, the low round of the day. That left them on 18-under-par overall going into Saturday’s final round, when the format returns to betterball.

The pair of Durbanites are four shots ahead of Danie van Tonder and M.J. Viljoen (67) and Jaco Prinsloo and Clinton Grobler (69) on 14-under, while Luke Brown and Hayden Griffiths, and Luka Filippi and Ryan van Velsen, are on 13-under-par. The seasoned duo of George Coetzee and Darren Fichardt are a further stroke back.

“Merrick is awesome to play with,” Rohwer said after their round of seven birdies and just one bogey, on their penultimate hole, the par-three eighth. “He has a cool head on his shoulders and is very chill.

“He makes it easy for me to relax and play my own game. And of course he hits it miles!

“I can’t remember how many lob-wedges or sand-wedges I had going into the green, but that obviously makes a big difference,” Rohwer said.

The 28-year-old Rohwer said he and Bremner had decided to use the same strategy for the foursomes as they did in the first-round betterball, in which they shot 60 to finish three behind leaders Estiaan Conradie and Fredrick From, who slipped down the leaderboard on Friday with a three-over 75 leaving them with Coetzee and Fichardt on 12-under-par.

And there will be no change of plan for Rohwer and Bremner in Saturday’s final round.

“It was a great day and we both played really well,” Rohwer said. “We took the same mindset we had yesterday [Thursday] into today [Friday] and that was just to try and birdie every single hole.

“Keeping our foot on the gas for the whole round really helped us for shooting 66. On the holes where there is risk-and-reward, it meant the first one off would go for it and if they pulled off the shot, then there was licence for the second shot to be aggressive as well.

“Even though you tend to play a little safer in foursomes because you can end up with only one chance, being pretty aggressive helped us.

“So we’ll have pretty much the same game-plan for the final round. You’ve got to play well whenever you’re in with a shout in the final round, you can’t expect average golf to get the job done.

“So we will stick to the same game-plan as the first day betterball and try and give ourselves as many opportunities as we can, as many looks as we can. If we give ourselves two chances on every hole then anything can happen,” Rohwer said.

Conradie & From show neither ultra-aggression nor conservatism are an illness in golf 0

Posted on September 22, 2022 by Ken

CENTURION, Gauteng – Estiaan Conradie and Fredrik From proved on Thursday in the first round of the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship at Blue Valley Golf Estate that neither ultra-aggression nor a conservative approach is an illness when it comes to the game of golf.

Conradie and From combined superbly in the betterball format on the first day of the R1.2 million event to claim a three-stroke lead, 13 birdies and an eagle giving them a score of 15-under-par 57.

They finished three strokes clear of Martin Rohwer and Merrick Bremner on 12-under-par 60, while Jaco Prinsloo and Clinton Grobler, Heinrich Bruiners and Jacquin Hess, and Luca Filippi and Ryan van Velzen all posted 11-under 61s.

“It was a lot of fun, I enjoy betterball. It helps to be an aggressive player like me, with my partner backing me up really well. We worked well together and I’m super-happy,” Conradie said after the first round.

“Our style is a bit of a mix-and-match, but it worked for us with me being more aggressive and Fredrik is more conservative.”

The fact that Conradie and the 33-year-old From dovetailed so well with their different styles of play actually complementing each other, meant they were cruising from the start of their round. Teeing off at the 10th hole of the Gary Player designed course, Conradie and his Swedish partner birdied four of their first six holes, and he said they were in a happy mood as they approached the turn.

“We were in good spirits and then we got five birdies in a row, so we were really happy when we reached the par-five third. I hit the middle of the fairway and then Fredrik was in the middle of the green, 20-25 feet away in two and I put my second 10-12 feet behind the flag. He left his putt just short, which meant I had like a free putt and the perfect line, after we spoke about it for quite a bit. That was a really nice eagle to get,” he said.

Conditions were perfect for low-scoring on Thursday, but the 24-year-old Conradie said he expects the foursomes in the second round to throw up some different challenges.

“Conditions were perfect, there was just a light breeze and the greens were pretty good. You can’t ask for much better conditions to play golf.

“But playing foursomes means things will change a bit. But we’ve worked on our game-plan and our style of play will work quite well, I think.

“Foursomes has been a focus for us because we have not played a lot together and it’s something we’ll need to be good at. We have high hopes,” Conradie said.

The golfers will return to the betterball format for the third and final round on Saturday.

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    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.

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