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Ken Borland



Reto starts like a fish out of water, but then all goes swimmingly 0

Posted on April 09, 2024 by Ken

SUN CITY, North-West – United States-based South African Paula Reto may have looked a bit like a fish out of water when she bogeyed the second and third holes on the second day of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International on Thursday, but the rest of her round at the Lost City Golf Club then went swimmingly as she claimed a share of the lead.

Reto went on a run of five birdies in six holes from the fifth hole, and then added back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes, before returning from a lightning break with another gain on the 17th. Her superb six-under-par 66 lifted her to eight-under overall and she will go into the final round tied for the lead with India’s Tvesa Malik, who fired a stunning 65.

The 33-year-old Reto won this tournament in 2022, but it was then played at the Gary Player Country Club. But after a tough 2023 campaign on the LPGA Tour, Reto is in a good frame of mind back in her home country, and it showed in her ability to bounce back from two early setbacks on Thursday.

“I don’t know what happened really, I hit a bad tee-shot on the second and suddenly I’d gone bogey-bogey. I just said to myself that I must give myself opportunities and fortunately I then managed to get the ball close to the hole a few times, and chipped in on the eighth, which is always nice for your momentum,” Reto said.

“Lost City is completely different to the GPCC, you have to strategise more off the tees, it’s a course that requires more thinking. To be able to bounce back after those two bogeys felt really good and I was very happy that I kept to the plan. I was able to stay on plan and not let the bogeys get to me.

“Last year was tough because I struggled with my swing a bit and I couldn’t string four good rounds together. It starts to take a toll on your confidence and you start to try and change so much all at once.

“So at the start of this year I just tried to hone in on a few things, make sure I do those basics well. I’m happy with where my game is heading and I just love coming back here to South Africa, being with my family and feeling a bit like I’m on vacation,” Reto said.

Getting married on December 29 to fellow Indian professional golfer Ajeetesh Sandhu certainly seems to have bear fruit for Malik as she produced an outstanding, bogey-free round with four birdies on the back nine and then three on the front.

First-round leader Lauren Taylor shot a 70 on Thursday to move to six-under-par, two off the lead, while exciting South African youngster Gabrielle Venter shot 68 on Thursday to move to five-under.

‘We are not a 1-man show’, Mulder says after he & Klaasen destroy JSK 0

Posted on February 08, 2024 by Ken

MAGNIFICENT – Heinrich Klaasen in full flow at the Wanderers.
Photo: Richard Huggard (Sportzpics)

“We are not a one-man show,” Wiaan Mulder said when asked why the Durban Super Giants have made it all the way to the SA20 final following their 69-run demolition of the Joburg Super Kings in the last Qualifier at the Wanderers on Thursday evening.

But if truth be told, their emphatic victory was at most a two-man show as a scintillating partnership between Mulder and Heinrich Klaasen carried the game well out of the Super Kings’ reach.

Klaasen and Mulder added 101 for the fifth wicket off just 38 balls, transforming a match in which Joburg seemed to have the upper hand for the first dozen overs. They lashed 112 runs in the last seven overs, including 29 runs being plundered off both the 15th over bowled by Imran Tahir and the 18th bowled by Sam Cook.

The incredible onslaught carried the Super Giants to 211 for six after they had been sent in to bat. The stand between Klaasen and Mulder was the best ever for Durban’s fifth wicket, beating the unbeaten 84 Klaasen and Matthew Breetzke put on against the Pretoria Capitals at SuperSport Park last season.

The Super Giants then kept chipping away with the ball, dismissing Joburg Super Kings for 142 in the 18th over.

The Durbanites did not have a great start, being 52 for three after seven overs, but Sri Lankan Bhanuka Rajapaksa, making his SA20 debut, helped Klaasen stabilise matters with his composed 35 off 23 balls as 43 was added for the fourth wicket. They then had the breathing space to launch the most stunning assault in the closing overs.

“We kinda knew the pitch had something in it and it was important to have a partnership,” Mulder said. “It’s not like we said we were going to pull the trigger, but we had a couple of match-ups, one thing led to the next and it just happened.

“A couple of soft balls got me going, then Klaasie got going and we all know how devastating he is when he’s firing. He’s arguably the best T20 batsman in the world at the moment. He’s a superstar and to score 74 off 30 on that pitch is a joke.

“I don’t think over 200 was par, maybe 180. It was really hard to score when they bowled into the pitch, but we had a couple of opportunities when they went full. And the way Klaasie was striking it, he turned 180 into more than 200. If the bowlers missed by a foot, they were in the stands, and maybe there were a few execution errors,” Mulder said.

The all-rounder will surely have changed some perceptions about him as a T20 player as his superb, vital 50 not out off just 23 balls continued his strong form this season.

While Klaasen will undoubtedly be the key man when DSG take on the Sunrisers at Newlands on Saturday, the defending champions will know their opponents have in-form, contributing players right through their line-up.

Breetzke and Jon-Jon Smuts have both made consistent runs and five DSG bowlers have taken more than 10 wickets.

“We are very similar to the Sunrisers in that we’ve had consistent performances from different people and that’s what wins competitions,” Mulder said. “To win competitions doesn’t take one person, it’s about how the players and management look after each other. In any successful team, the people play for the team.

“The most important thing is the environment and trying to create a good culture. There’s no unnecessary pressure put on us and there’s no nitpicking from anyone. That’s a big part of why we will be playing in the final,” Mulder said.

Oosthuizen shows the pedigree to jack up his game when required 0

Posted on December 11, 2023 by Ken

Louis Oosthuizen finally gets his hands on the trophy at Leopard Creek.
Photo: Ken Borland

When Charl Schwartzel drew level again on the 12th hole, Louis Oosthuizen knew his great friend and rival was not going to go away in the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship, and he realised he would have to jack up his game if he hoped to win the famous Leopard Creek trophy for the first time.

Showing his big game temperament, Oosthuizen played beautifully through the middle of the back nine, reeling off three straight birdies from the 13th hole. It meant he went into the daunting last three holes with a three-stroke lead, and he needed it in the sodden conditions.

Finding a fairway bunker on the par-four 17th led to a bogey, and then his drive on the par-five 18th found the water down the right, creating an exciting finish as four-time champion Schwartzel was just off the green in two. Oosthuizen laid up his third well, and then nervelessly rolled in a tricky 18-foot putt for par to seal a two-stroke victory, his closing 69 taking him to 18-under-par.

“I knew I had to play well because Charl plays very well around this place and Christiaan Bezuidenhout started well too. Fortunately I made a few putts in the middle that let me get ahead because this is such a good finishing course, you need to hold on and it’s tough to be aggressive,” Oosthuizen said after his first win since his memorable SA Open triumph in 2018.

“I was a bit in-between what to do off the 18th tee and I had to make par the hard way, because Charl hit a good drive and I knew he would go for the green in two. It wasn’t much fun after that tee-shot, but it feels good now!”

After Sunday’s play was limited to just seven holes for the leading group by thundershowers, Schwartzel started shakily on Monday with bogeys on the par-four eighth and 10th holes. But he would trade those in for back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th holes to draw level again. But six successive pars then followed as Schwartzel was just not quite sharp enough to put more pressure on Oosthuizen, closing with a 71 for 16-under-par.

Moving beyond the ins and outs of their respective final rounds, perhaps Oosthuizen was due to win at Leopard Creek, given his pedigree and how badly he wanted the title after twice finishing second.

“Since first playing in this event in 2004, this has been one of the tournaments I’ve always wanted to win, but it took me a while. Like the SA Open, which was my last win, I had to wait a while and now I’m very happy. It’s really special to win here, maybe I should play more in South Africa.

“I was very focused because I really wanted to win and I felt my game was good enough to do it and I’ve been putting well enough. But it was just a fight and I had to make it count with the putter in the end,” Oosthuizen said.

A beautifully curled-in 35ft birdie putt on the 14th hole was the 41-year-old’s highlight on the greens on the final day.

Bezuidenhout shot a four-under 68 to ensure he was always a lurking presence in the final round, eventually finishing third on 14-under-par.

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A few options when locating the source of the Bulls’ motivation, but the past is not their focus 0

Posted on June 22, 2023 by Ken

There are a few options when it comes to locating the source of the Bulls’ motivation for their United Rugby Championship match against the Stormers in Cape Town on Friday night, but captain Ruan Nortje said on Wednesday that their focus is not on the past.

Nevertheless, losing their last three matches against their great rivals, including the inaugural URC final, will certainly rankle. But there is also fresh motivation in the sense that beating the Stormers will maintain the Bulls’ ascendancy in the race to this season’s South African Shield. Defeat would allow the Stormers to leapfrog the Bulls into second place on the overall log, with a game in hand.

If all that fails, then the fact that it is the classic North/South derby, in the tradition of Northern Transvaal versus Western Province, should suffice for motivation.

“Last season’s final was obviously difficult for us, but that’s rugby – you win some and you lose some,” Nortje said. “The Stormers are a very good side and deserved champions and we respect them a lot.

“But this is a new season and a very important game on Friday night. We have put the past behind us and we’re just focused on the road going forward.

“The North/South derby week is always massive for our coach, Jake White. He’s a very good coach and he knows what he is doing. He’s definitely working on us mentally in a good way and he will definitely have us prepared.

“The past is behind us, it was tough to lose in the final, but it was a special game to be part of and this is a new and exciting week,” Nortje said.

The Bulls lock expects the Stormers to attack them again at scrum time, while the visitors could target a sometimes flaky lineout that will be without injured Springbok second-rower Salmaan Moerat.

“Last season we struggled in the scrums so we worked a lot on that in the off-season. The Stormers have if not the best scrum, then one of the best,” Nortje said.

“Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe are world-class and the scrums will be a big test to build momentum. It’s going to be a massive challenge, but we are very excited about it.

“I think scrum time will play a big role, we must not give away penalties there. It’s also always a big tussle in the lineout and I look forward to that too.

“I’m very sorry for Salmaan, he’s a brilliant player and it’s always lekker to test yourself against the best. But the Stormers have quality in depth, Marvin Orie is still there and he will take whatever young lock they choose under his wing,” Nortje said.

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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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