The Kwazulu-Natal team provided manager Shelagh Digby with a dream start by beating both their first round opponents in Monday’s first round of the 51st South African Junior Interprovincial at Leopard Park Golf Club in the Northwest Province.
The KZN juniors scored a clean sweep over Eastern Provinc eand Southern Cape in the morning foursomes and dominated in their afternoon singles. KZN beat EP 4/2 and scored an 8-4 victory over SC to two early points on the leaderboard.
“Obviously turning 4-0 against both teams this morning was a dream start for us,” said Digby.
“This afternoon it got almost unbearably hot and some of players became a little unstuck, but others picked up the slack and all in all, it was a very positive result for us.
This is the last year that the juniors, representing 13 golf unions across South Africa, will compete at equal footing in the country’s premier junior team competition.
Junior golf now falls under the auspices of the South African Golf Association, which means the 2012 SA Junior IPT will be run on the same format as the Open, Mid-Amateur and Senior Inter-Provincials. At the conclusion of this year’s event, the 13 teams will be split into two divisions. The leading six teams will qualify for the A-Division and be eligible for relegation while the seven remaining teams will make up the B-Division and could challenge for promotion.
Digby said the coastal side feels some pressure with divisions on the line.
“We were not among the favourites coming into the tournament and we knew the inland teams would put us under pressure this week,” she explained. “We knew we would have to start strong to put ourselves into a good position for the week and we’ve done that.
“There were no obvious stars in the side today, but rather a squad that played solidly, both as individuals and as a unit. The outcome today was worth all the hard work that went into the training sessions and the preparation we put in.”
WesternProvincewent one better than their coastal neighbours, winning all three their matches.
The Cape team scored convincing 8.5 – 3.5 victories overFree State & Northern Cape and Ekurhuleni and scraped through for a narrow 6.5 – 5.5 over Limpopo.
Meanwhile Gauteng North and Central Gautengwill also start the second round with some serious confidence after claiming two scalps each.
FIRST ROUND SCORES:
Gauteng North 6.5 vs Boland 5.5
Gauteng North 7 vsNorth West5
Boland 5.5 vsNorth West6.5
Central Gauteng 7.5 vsMpumalanga4.5
Central Gauteng 10 vs Border 2
Mpumalanga 6.5 vs Border 5.5
Southern Cape6.5 vs Eastern Province 5.5
Southern Cape5 vs KwaZulu Natal 7
Eastern Province 4 vs KwaZulu Natal 8
Ekurhuleni 3.5 vs Western Province 8.5
Ekurhuleni 5.5 vsLimpopo6.5
Western Province 6.5 vsLimpopo5.5
Ekurhuleni 8.5 vs Free State & Northern Cape 3.5
Western Province 8.5 vs Free State & Northern Cape 3.5
Limpopo5 vs Free State & Northern Cape 7