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Ken Borland

Wishing for a summer of peace in golf 0

Posted on January 18, 2023 by Ken

After a bitter, confrontational year, there are many in international golf who just wish the whole LIV Golf affair and the resulting civil war would be resolved and the game could go back to the way it was.

Even Rory McIlroy, probably the most vocal supporter of the establishment tours, this week admitted that the whole feud has “gotten way out of control” and some sort of truce and lasting peace needs to be found.

LIV Golf holds their season finale this weekend with their Team Championship at Donald Trump’s National Doral. The purse is believed to be a staggering $50 million and it will surprise no-one that Trump has come out and praised the Saudi Arabian backers of the event and their big-money disruption of the status quo.

Back here in South Africa, as we prepare to go into the high-season of summer golf and the big co-sanctioned events, there is some good news. Golfers such as Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace, who have always been favourites of local fans, will be on the fairways competing for some of the big prizes in the major tournaments despite having joined the LIV circus.

Schwartzel and Grace will be joining the likes of Dylan Frittelli, Oliver Bekker, Dean Burmester, Thriston Lawrence, Danie van Tonder, Erik van Rooyen and even the little-known MJ Daffue, the Pretoria product who has earned his PGA Tour card and led this year’s U.S. Open at the halfway stage, at the South African Open from December 1-4.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout is also hopefully going to play one or two events.

Oosthuizen is going to play in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek from December 8-11, but will miss the SA Open because he is going to be in the U.S. for his children’s first week of the new school year.

At the moment, none of the LIV defectors will be going to Sun City to play in the Nedbank Golf Challenge though, because that is a DP World Tour event, part of their season-ending series, the invitations based on their order of merit rankings. The DP World Tour’s attempt to prevent LIV golfers from playing in any of their events was blocked by a UK court though, with a final ruling expected in February.

Although events like the SA Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship are co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour, they are played under the auspices of the Sunshine Tour and they are not going to turn away such drawcards as Oosthuizen, Grace and Schwartzel.

The Sunshine Tour is also going all out to ensure those who have never been drawn to golf as a spectator sport have plenty of reasons to come to these tournaments, especially the SA Open, which is being played at Blair Atholl Estate for the first time.

Sunshine Tour commissioner Thomas Abt explains that “We want to create an exciting and fun event, not just for the hardcore golf fans but for their partners and children too”.

“We will be showcasing the best of South African golf, but what else is there that attracts people? We have a strong vision of fan involvement, so there will be exciting fan parks.

“We want to create a real sense of occasion, we have some interesting options there, plus on every day, we will have three spectators putting for cash – R10 000 on the first three days and R100 000 on the final day. And it’s all at a spectacular destination,” Abt says.

Hopefully the golf family will be reunited in South Africa this festive season. At the end of the day, surely the game, its rich traditions and history, are worth more than a few making many millions of dollars?

After all, professional golfers always tell you it’s not the size of the paycheque but the prestige of the title that really matters. Or has LIV Golf brought us to the end of such idyllic notions?

Back-to-back ducks enough to appal any batsmen, but Rossouw brushes them off 0

Posted on December 07, 2022 by Ken

One would think making back-to-back ducks would be enough to appal any batter, but Rilee Rossouw said he brushed them off before his emphatic unbeaten century in response in the third T20 against India at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.

And while Proteas fans may be greatly dismayed by the poor form of Temba Bavuma, Rossouw says the team are fully behind their captain and they have no doubts about his value to the side.

Rossouw of course has had previous experience of making ducks for South Africa, getting zero in four of his first six ODI innings, and yet he still went on to average 38 at a strike-rate of 94 in the format.

“As a professional sportsman, you’re going to have bad times, so you need to back yourself and believe in your ability,” Rossouw said after his 100 not out off just 48 balls decimated India.

“It doesn’t matter what your form is, you still need confidence. Form and confidence are two different things. And I really believe in my ability, I’ve showcased it around the world.

“It’s never about form for me, I have confidence in my ability and in my game. And I thank the coaches and selectors for backing me.

“If someone has a good day, then they can carry the weight of someone who is struggling for form. It’s the same with Temba, as a team we really, really back him, we will be there for him and every professional goes through what he is at the moment. But with his ability, he could be in the form of his life at the World Cup,” Rossouw said.

Rossouw credited another man who has been struggling for form recently, before notching back-to-back half-centuries, for getting him going in Indore.

“There was one shot that Quinton de Kock played that really got me in the mood – when he stepped across outside off-stump in the third over and whipped Deepak Chahar for six. That got my momentum going and it’s great to see him playing like that before a big tournament.”

The ball was also regularly coming off the sweet spot just below the chevron of Rossouw’s bat-sticker from early on in his innings, as he hit his fourth and fifth deliveries for fours. The left-hander hit sixes in the next two overs, and his third six took him to 30 off 15 balls. Rossouw went to his fifty off 27 deliveries, 30 of those runs coming from shots over the boundary, and he needed just 21 more balls to raise his first T20 International century, which included seven fours and eight sixes.

By focusing on playing the swinging ball and getting all aspects of their game to click together, Rossouw said the Proteas now head to the T20 World Cup with the confidence of a fine victory under their belts.

“With bat and ball, we’ve had things to learn in this series. We were shocked by how India swung the ball and we learnt a lot about our bowling in the second game,” Rossouw said.

“But we put it together today, we were outstanding in our batting, bowling and fielding. We played very well and we’re very proud of how we’ve finished the series. We’ll be going to the World Cup with our heads held high.”

Rabada would be your 1st choice of current SA bowlers to get on the Lord’s honours board … & he duly completed his task 0

Posted on October 04, 2022 by Ken

Kagiso Rabada would be your first choice of current South African bowlers to get up on the Lord’s honours board and he duly completed his five-wicket haul before the Proteas openers did their job on the second day of the first Test against England on Thursday.

Rabada bowled superbly in the first hour of the morning session, finishing with five for 52 in 19 overs as England were bowled out for just 165.

Captain Dean Elgar (12*) and Sarel Erwee (13*) then took South Africa through to 27 without loss at lunch.

England had resumed on a struggling 116 for six after the Proteas pacemen had dominated the 32 overs able to be played on the first day before rain washed out play. Ollie Pope was the key man for them on 61 not out, but the determined No.3 was the first batsman to fall on Thursday, in the fifth over of the day.

Erwee’s juggling attempt to catch Pope at first slip at the end of the first over of the day, bowled by Rabada, failed, but the batsman only added six more runs. Rabada kept plugging away with great control and skill just outside the off-stump, and Pope then inside-edged a big drive into his stumps to be bowled for 73.

A beautiful slower ball then accounted for Stuart Broad (15) and Rabada wrapped up his 12th five-wicket haul in his 73rd Test by trapping Jimmy Anderson lbw for a first-ball duck.

In between the dismissals of Broad and Anderson, Marco Jansen chipped in by bowling Jack Leach for 15.

Left-armer Jansen finished with two for 0 in eight overs and Anrich Nortje was also wonderful on the first day, finishing with three for 63 in 13 overs.

Some exquisite swing bowling by Anderson and Broad then created plenty of nervous moments for South Africa, and Elgar was dropped on seven by Zak Crawley at second slip off Matthew Potts, his angled-bat weakness outside off stump again coming to the fore.

But the opener survived the testing 12 overs before lunch.

Getting overwrought about finishing would be counter-productive, but Sharks need to be more clinical 0

Posted on April 19, 2022 by Ken

Getting overwrought about it would be counter-productive, but the Sharks really need to be more clinical with their finishing if they hope to beat Edinburgh in their United Rugby Championship match at Kings Park on Saturday.

Edinburgh, who at one stage were second on the log before slipping to their current fifth place, are the highest-ranked team the Sharks will be facing since losing 35-24 to Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun early last October.

The Sharks do have the confidence of a four-match winning streak, but they only just beat a 14-man Bulls side in Pretoria before wins over Benetton Treviso, Scarlets and Zebre Parma (the last two at home) were comfortable enough, but there was enough sloppiness for coach Sean Everitt to be agitated.

Against a top side like Edinburgh, the try-scoring chances will be fewer and further apart, and the Sharks cannot afford to let the 150-year-old Scottish club gain a foothold in the match through their own wastefulness.

“We need to finish the opportunities we have created,” Everitt said this week. “We can’t leave four tries on the table like we did against Zebre, two of which were open-line passes that went astray.

“They were all elemental, quite fundamental errors that cost us the tries. It’s a shame because the guys have worked hard off the ball and we would have had really good wins if we had scored those extra tries,” Everitt said.

It will certainly be a highly motivated Edinburgh side as they look to arrest their slide and also make up for their 30-17 loss to archrivals Glasgow in last week’s 1872 Cup derby.

The Edinburgh team for Saturday is studded with South African products in props Boan Venter and Luan de Bruin and replacement flyhalf Jaco van der Walt. Blair Kinghorn is back from the Scotland team to start in the No.10 jersey for Edinburgh, while flank Hamish Watson, the 2021 Six Nations Player of the Tournament, also returns. Fullback Emiliano Boffelli will be well-known to South African fans as one of the stars of the Jaguares team in Super Rugby. Wing Ramiro Moyano is also a former Jaguares kingpin with 34 caps for Argentina.

“Edinburgh are a dangerous team that plays similar to Scotland. They keep the ball moving and they have dangerous backs.

“They will also bring a lot of pressure at the breakdown. We will have to defend well to keep their attack in check,” was the info Everitt was willing to divulge about his opposition.

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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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