By yesterday there had already been an ace scored, with the tournament witnessing the first South African (now Slovakian), Rory Sabbatini, to get a hole-in-one in the history of the US Open.
Pebble Beach is one of the finest courses in the US, if not the world. One thing we do know is that Pebble always delivers! Cabanga a score of 65 is the lowest opening round score in the history of the US Open at Pebble Beach. So Justin Rose has history on his side having kicked off the tournament with a first round 65, closely followed by Oosthuizen and Aaron Wise, who like Rose is South African-born, in a group on 66.
Brooks Koepka, who was home in 69 on Thursday, is always going to be in the mix, and he is after a hat-trick - three US Opens in a row. Our local great hope must be Louis, and this old hand is bound to come right soon. Then there’s Rory McIlroy, who has come in off the back of his Canadian Open win.
The European charge is likely to come from Henrik Stenson and Rose, not forgetting “there’s only one Molinari”, who is also invariably in the mix.
Then there’s living legend Tiger Woods, especially out at Pebble Beach where he won the 2000 US Open by 15 shots from Miguel Angel Jiménez and our own Ernie Els. Then there are dark horses like Erik van Rooyen, Matty Kuuuuch and Jovan Rebula, the Big Easy’s nephew. If you want a sneaky punt, stick with one of the oldies, but goodies.
Crossing over to France and the Women’s World Cup, which is producing some of the best football this year. Our hopes in Banyana Banyana have come to a swift end, kinda like the Proteas. Is this an omen for the year ahead? Let’s leave it there as I’m confident the Boks will turn this year around, for Mzansi’s sake.
And it’s the last round of this weekend’s Super Rugby, before we get into the knockout stages.
It’s derbies waya waya bafethu (all over gents), nothing like a mild local game for national selection, in a World Cup year. The Jaguares hosted the Sunwolves just after midnight. This game could have been tight as the home team were resting players as they are into the quarters already. Similarly the Hurricanes are through and are at home to the Blues. This game too is a coin toss as Canes are through and Blues play for pride. The Aussie derby is Brumbies versus Reds, same as the last two but Brumbies will win as they need momentum.
In the local derby games, the Stormers are at home to the Sharks, where both teams will be playing for their lives. It’s a strong likelihood of siya valelisa (saying goodbye) to the Du Preez clan, all four of them, as it may be their last game. With Curwin Bosch out with an injury the old man Du Preez doesn’t need to explain why he is favouring his lightie at pivot, which he is sure to be elated about. As I have maintained all season Curwin is a better No10 than Robert Jr, so based on that and for the sake of consistency I’m favouring the slapstaad boys to get the job done.
Last up is the Jukskei derby out of Loftus Stadium, where it’s all up for grabs, well at least vir die leeu’s. The Lions must win to qualify, whereas the Bulls are the safest being the second-ranked span and highest Mzansi team in the Conference.
Sangoma signing off!@shabsgunner
Independent on Saturday