CAPE TOWN, 24 September 2014 – Local favourites Western Province mounted a spirited comeback in the third round 54th South African Inter-Provincial at Westlake Golf Club to move within striking distance of log leaders, Central Gauteng, on Wednesday.
The youthful Central Gauteng side hammered defending champions Gauteng North 10-2 to cement their position at the top of the standings in the country’s premier team championship, sponsored by Tempest.
Province, with a win and a loss on their card, whipped Southern Cape 7.5 – 4.5 to finish on four points with Boland, who drew 6-all with Ekurhuleni.
The host union stretched a 2.5 – 1.5 lead in the Foursomes to victory, but matters did not look very rosy through the turn.
“These Southern Cape guys are so gritty,” said Province skipper, Werner Theart. “They just refused to back down. We were in real trouble after the turn, and we need to dig deep to recover.”
Theart turned the tied with a captain’s innings, defeating Henk Geldenhuys 5&4.
Luke Trocado halved his game against Jacques Cloete and Ian Snyman, Gerlou Roux and Drew Denyer reeled in the points to put Province back in the driver’s seat.
“The guys came back brilliantly, and even our three losses were incredibly close,” Theart said.
“Drew was 4-down to Jovan Rebula through 11 holes, but he birdied the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th to win the game 2&1. Gerlou and Ian also fought hard for 2&1 wins.”
Province will face neighbouring Boland, with whom they shared the title in 2012, on Thursday.
“Central Gauteng is in strong position, but if they take a knock over the next two days, it can come down to game points, so we have to beat Boland to give ourselves a chance,” Theart said. “A draw won’t cut it. We need to win and we need to win big.”
Central Gauteng led Gauteng North 3.5 – 0.5 after the Foursomes and completely dominated in the Singles.
Rookie David Meyers struck the first blow when he crushed Philip Kruse 8&7 drubbing and fellow rookie Marco Steyn followed suit, scoring a 6&5 win against Andrew van der Knaap.
Andi Dill, Gareth Clements, Darin de Smidt and Michael Dixon reeled in four more points, while Matthew Spacy halved with Hendrikus Stoop.
“I am incredibly proud of this team’s fighting spirit,” said manager Jaco du Plessis. “They are a young side, but their determination is incredible. They have showed so much grit in the last three days and all I can do is praise their commitment.
“We are in a strong position right now, but this championship only ends when the last putt drops on Friday. In this format, nothing is guaranteed. We will still have work to do over the next two rounds.”
THIRD ROUND RESULT
Western Province 7.5 vs Southern Cape 4.5
Ekurhuleni 6.0 vs Boland 6.0
Gauteng North 2.0 vs Central Gauteng 10.0
A-DIVISION FOURSOMES RESULT – Round Two
Western Province 3.0 vs Southern Cape 1.0
Cameron Johnston / Ian Snyman beat Ivan Williams / Henk Geldenhuys 6 & 5;
Werner Theart / Drew Denyer lost to Staffie Barnard / Jacques Cloete 3 & 2;
Aaron Russell / Luke Trocado beat Nicholas Mitchell / Jovan Rebula 3 & 2;
Gerlou Roux / Altin van der Merwe beat Breyten Meyer / Jade Buitendag 2Up;
1 Central Gauteng (3, 3, 0, 0, 6, 24.0)
2 Boland (3, 1, 2, 0, 4, 20.0)
3 Western Province (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 19.5)
4 Ekurhuleni (3, 1, 1, 1, 3, 18.0)
5 Gauteng North (3, 0, 1, 2, 1, 13.0)
6 Southern Cape (3, 0, 0, 3, 0, 13.5)
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.