Joburg Open – 4-under/T55 makes the cut for weekend golf action

Curated from: Scoop.itUK Golf; see full-blown, original article on Get Thet, Go!

“The Joburg Open has reached halfway, thus the cut. No surprise really, but the South African golfers are all over the leaderboard like ants over jam scone on a picnic table [Ed – WTF?]”

Zebedeerox‘s insight:

Charl Schwartzel sits just five shots off the pace as he looks to win the Joburg Open for the third time in four years in Johnnesburg, this weekend.

Branden Grace came between Schwartzel and that prestigious honour last year.  This time around, there are four other South African golfers and Chile’s Felipe Aguilar all with their eyes on the prize and very much in contention.

Fisher Jnr & Sterne lead the way, T1 on -15 going into the penultimate day at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Course.

George Coetzee occupies third place on his own, three shots off the leaders.

Then comes Schwartzel, Aguliar and yet another South African golfer, Keith Horne, all on -10 at the halfway stage.

UK Golf’s best chance of bringing a slice of the €1.3M purse back to Blighty is Tommy Fleetwood.  He and a clutch of golfers occupy T7 a shot further back on -9.

Whilst the action pre-cut has taken place on both the West and East Golf Courses, the pairings for the weekend’s golf action will all play on the East Course.

First tee-off is five to seven in the morning; Robert Jan Derksen gets us under way.  The leading five pairings, including Charl Schwarzel and Tommy Fleetwood, all tee off around noon, local time.

They’re two hours in front at the Joburg Open, so please remember that if you fancy slipping 50p each way on Schwarzel to log on to SKY Bet by 9:30-ish, latest.

Golfers you fancy further down the field, you’d better log on a tad earlier.  The top 20 at Joburg at the halfway point are listed in the European Tour’s leaderboard screen-shot, above.

Thet Watson’s tip for the 2013 Joburg Open

Watch out for Italy’s Lorenzo Gagli, is my advice.  He’s -8, seven off the pace.  That’s certainly doable, especially considering the leaders have each saved 15 shots from par over the first two days’ golf.

Coverage in the UK is on SKY Sports 3/3HD.  Programmes start at 10:30am, both Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th Feb.

Therefore the leading pair, Trevor Fisher Jnr & Richard Sterne, will have just about teed off in the morning when we join South Africa live on SKY.

If you’re interested in what’s going on over on the PGA Tour this weekend, coverage of the third day at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am comes live from California immediately after day three at the Joburg Open is wrapped up. Same channel, SKY Sports 3/3HD, 6:30pm.

I sincerely hope you’ve picked the winner and had a few pence on him.

The remaining four golfers post-cut from 10-Tee-20-Vision, my Fantasy Race To Dubai team, and links to all sorts of other useless golf information you’ll find through the link at the top of the screen.

Laters, guys,

Thet Watson. xxx



Christmas Premier League fixtures – far from the mad home crowd

Paul Whitehouse’s Aviva ad with the ‘Green Army’ hitting the road to watch Plymouth Argyle at Newcastle is a classic. Okay, maybe the game’s fictitious as far as Premier League fixtures go. But the reality of the time and expense for travelling away fans this Christmas was no laughing matter.

Premier League fixtures Sat 22nd December 2012

Premier League fixtures Sat 22nd December 2012

Irrespective of whether you can afford a petrol bill equivalent to Dick Mar Van Nostril Boy’s wages or not, the distances between the teams in the Premier League fixtures on Saturday 22nd December were ridiculous.

At a time when you need to be spending time at home getting ready for Santa, every single game entailed a huge round trip.  And when you start adding the price of petrol on top of the over-priced tickets, it’s an expense you could do without at this time of year.

Premier League fixtures at holiday time need more forethought

It’s easy to poke fun at the Janners in Whitehouse’s advert. But many football fans will follow their team come Hell or high water. In the post-Bhati Brothers era that saw Wolves’ teeter on the brink of winding up, trips to Brentford, Tranmere and Barnsley were commonplace. And those were the glamour fixtures.

In a strange turnaround, it is these lower league football fixtures that seem to have accommodated fans’ need for derby – or at least local – games over Christmas. Premier league fixtures on the other hand have no such forethought.

As Patrick Collins surmised in his recent article in the Daily Mail, football fans remain

faceless legions who can be shunted around the country at the whim of a lazy fixture scheduler or an arrogant television executive.

But it wasn’t only the distance of the round-trip fans had to contend with on Saturday. The Great British weather was also a factor. And not because of unplayable pitches, either.

The West Bromwich Albion football team didn’t arrive at Loftus Road until 2:00pm. Kick Off was subsequently delayed, making the day out to London an even longer one for the Baggies’ fans.

The blame was laid firmly at the feet of road closures due to flood warnings and the subsequent traffic in and around London.

It was the only one of the Premier league fixtures to be affected, but games from other divisions were also affected thus.

As you can see from the table above, the shortest round trip was 316.2 miles. For the Stoke fans travelling down the M6 (no picnic in its own rite) it would amaze me if any were away from home for less than eight hours.

And as for the Sunderland fans making the trip down to Southampton, sixteen hours minimum and the day after to recover. That’s just what every family needs two days before Santa arrives, arguments about ‘the bloody football’, innit?

Have Your Say:

  • Should Premier League fixtures be organised around locality over the festive period?
  • Or do the male-dominant away supporters actually like the excuse to be out of the way in the run up to Christmas that these distances entail?

Vitriolic criticism over Di Matteo sacking

First published on 21/11/12; relocated to The Flying Feck, March 2013.

Who’d have thought Roberto Di Matteo would have been the first boss to be shown the Premier league door this season?

2012 FA Cup Final DVD (Amazon)

2012 FA Cup Final DVD (Amazon)

Roberto Di Matteo lifted Chelsea’s season from the humdrum nothingness it was headed towards after the former player took over in March last season.  Not only did he win the F.A. Cup, but made it a double winning Roman Abramovic the Champions league trophy he’d coveted for so long.

In hindsight, this was probably predictable. Following his move to London from West Bromwich Albion, Di Matteo inspired a passion in the Chelsea dressing room that his predecessor, André Villas-Boas, failed to achieve.

2012 Champions League Winners

2012 Champions League Winners

But even after getting the players stoked up, including Chelsea legend Didier Drogba who’d looked a shadow of his former self under the previous regime, and bringing two pieces of silverware back to Stamford Bridge, he had to wait out the summer to see if he still had a job to return to in August.

Football fans were disgusted at the way the Chelsea board treated Di Matteo over what must have been a long closed season for the former Italy and Chelsea midfielder.

roberto di matteo in chelsea training gear at press conference

roberto di matteo formerly of chelsea

The Chelsea board blatantly courted Pep Guardiola, the former Barcelona head coach. Only when Pep insisted that he was taking a sabbatical did the Stamford Bridge board confirm to Di Matteo that his immediate future was Chelsea. Strangely enough, that same board is going back to knock on that same door, albeit a little louder this time around.

Two ghosts of Di Matteo’s past come back to haunt him

Chelsea have lost something since that upturn in form at the end of the 2011/12 season. That ‘something’ can be summed up in two words: Didier Drogba. Following the Ivory Coast striker’s £250,000/week transfer to Chinese football club Shanghai Shenhua FC, the Chelsea forward line looks flat and impartial.

A humbling at Di Matteo’s former club West Brom this weekend followed by a 3-0 drubbing by Juventus in the Champions league three days later have resulted in he and Chelsea parting company.

Juve, strangely enough, have been linked with a move for Drogba now that the Chinese football season is over. It’s a funny old game.

Chelsea announce Di Matteo sacking on Twitter

The initial announcement actually came on Chelsea’s Twitter feed this morning: Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with manager Roberto Di Matteo. More to follow… #CFC”.

The tweeted response by fans, those of Chelsea and football in general, amounts to a tirade of abuse at both Chelsea and, more specifically, Roman Abramovic himself.

Comments like ‘teddies out the pram‘, ‘you are nuts‘, ‘what the fuck!?!?!’ and this one’s my favourite…

…litter the ‘Reply to @chelseafc’ box beneath the original tweet.

If you’ve got something to say, head on over there and add your two-penneth. This type of owner involvement and money is killing the beautiful game.

Sorry, what are you still doing here? Go on, get tweeting! Include me on the message @JasonDFeckTVcom and I’ll retweet your rant @chelseafc to underline your angst.

Djibril Cisse challenges critical fan to face-to-face

Would you knowingly invoke the wrath of this man, Djibril Cisse?

djibril cisse in qpr colours

Djibril Cisse in QPR colours

You know you’re unlucky when, amidst the millions and millions of tweets that flood twitter’s stream every day, the person at whom you’re directing abuse happens to spot the derogatory comment you’ve posted about them.

And you must have broken a mirror, walked beneath a ladder and kicked a black cat up its scrawny ass if your tweet happened to be directed at and found by a Mohican-inspired Ivorian.

Especially one who looks like he wouldn’t think twice about bringing that thick strip of bright hair crashing down onto your nose if you looked at him with anything other than adulation.

But that’s precisely the position one QPR fan finds himself in after questioning the French European Cup winner’s accuracy by claiming on Twitter that Djibril Cisse

…couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo.”

On current form, whether you agree with the QPR striker’s stance on offering the tweeting fan the opportunity to bring that comment down to the training ground and explain it or not, said fan has a point.

Djibril Cisse and QPR’s plight not helped by wins for fellow strugglers

Struggling Southampton were amongst a clutch of Premier League strugglers who upset the apple cart this weekend.

Whilst they were winning 3-1 in emphatic style at QPR, the catalyst for the fan’s outburst, Reading picked up their first win of the season at home to an in-form Everton.

Not two hours following the final whistle at Loftus Road, Sunderland picked up only their second victory of the 2012/13 campaign away at Fulham in the late kick-off, replicating Southampton’s 1-3 away win scoreline at Craven Cottage.

Djibril Cisse was clearly upset by the comments. Despite the money QPR have invested over the last four or five seasons, they cannot buy a win this season, having drawn four and lost the other eight of their opening Premier League matches to date.

The London soccer team are marooned at the foot of the Premier League, already five points off safety and even then only by virtue of goal difference.

With almost a third of the season gone, the alarm bells at Loftus Road must already be ringing. It won’t be long before Mark Hughes gets his overdue ‘vote of confidence’ from the board, I’m sure.

It would be worth a reporter hanging around the Imperial College Training facility this week.

In Djibril Cisse’s tweet, which is no longer online and may well have been requested taken down by QPR staff (whether they agreed with the fan’s sentiment or not), he gave the fan his entire training schedule this week, tweeting:

When u feel like talking to me face to face just come. monday tuesday thirsday [sic] or Friday.”

Obviously, Cisse is taking Wednesday off to have that infamous strip of Mohawk re-dyed sky blue in time for QPR’s trip to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

Looks like they’ll still be on four points Saturday night, then…

…if you’re a fan of the man himself – and to be fair, he’s had some great footballing moments – here’s a video of Djibril Cisse in goal-scoring action.

  • Should Cisse have invited his critical fan to come to his training session?
  • Or is the love affair between Cisse & the QPR faithful on its last legs?