CAPE TOWN, 25 September 2014 – The final round of the 54th South African Inter-Provincial, sponsored by Tempest, is set for a cliff-hanger finale at Westlake Golf Club on Friday.
The battle for supremacy will go down to the wire between Central Gauteng and Western Province, while the relegation scuffle is on a knife’s edge between Southern Cape and Gauteng North and the promotion crunch will be fought between Eastern Province and KwaZulu-Natal.
Central Gauteng slammed Ekurhuleni 7.5 – 4.5 to remain unbeaten after four rounds of the premier team championship. The youthful side top the A-Section standings with eight points and has 31.5 games points in hand.
Western Province trounced main contenders Boland 10-2 to edge into second on eight points, but pose a threat with 29.5 games points.
Gauteng North bowed under a strong assault form Southern Cape, who won 7-5 and sent the defending champions to the bottom of the log.
In the B-Section, Eastern Province reclaimed pole position after a third round bye when they beat Free State 6.5 – 5.5. With a two point lead over KwaZulu-Natal, Mzuyanda Zingela’s charges are poised carry their unwavering determination to victory against Limpopo to celebrate their skipper’s record 23rd SA IPT appearance in style.
However, 2009 champions are equally determined to win their last scrap against North West.
After a draw in the Foursomes, rookie Marco Steyn won 4&3 to take Central Gauteng’s first scalp.
Matthew Spacey halved his match against reigning Nomads SA Boys U-19 champion Paul Boshoff, and Andi Dill, David Meyers, Michael Dixon and Louis Taylor piled on the rest of the points.
“This was undoubtedly our toughest match of the week,” said manager Jaco du Plessis. “We were only up in two matches at the turn, but the boys stepped it up and turned the tide.
“Matt was dormie 2 down, but birdied the last two holes to square his match. Louis was 2-down through 11, but birdied the 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th to turn it around and beat Tristen Strydom 2-up.
“It felt like the Ryder Cup out there. The boys produced a tremendous effort under huge pressure and they performed like champions.”
After a first round loss, Province launched a huge comeback to rise to joint second in the standings.
The host union scored a clean sweep in the Foursomes against Boland and, drawing on the local support, rallied with five Single victories and two halves to spoil their neighbour’s party.
Skipper Werner Theart and number one Altin van der Merwe squared their matches, while Cameron Johnston, Aaron Russell, Luke Trocado, Ian Snyman and Gerlou reeled victories for Province.
“Gauteng North will definitely come out fighting,” said Theart. “Just like we will be playing to win, they will be playing for survival and we expect them to bring everything to the final round.
“We won’t take anything for granted, though. We’ve worked hard to get ourselves into this position, and the only thing we can control is our own game. We’ll bring focus and determination to the final match and let the chips fall where they fall.”
Jade Buitendag, Breyten Meyer, Ivan Williams, Nicholas Mitchell and Jovan Rebula produced the goods against Gauteng North to lift Southern Cape from the bottom of the log.
“The guys took a lot of punishment on the back nine this week and we were staring relegation straight in the eye,” said Southern Cape manager, Billy Valentyn.
“We decided to change our strategy on the stretch after the turn and we got the results. Everyone who was up, stayed up and that made all the difference.
“We are in for a tough match against Ekurhuleni, especially after their loss today. We can’t count on Western Province to do us any favours against Gauteng North, so we need to bring everything to our final match to avoid regelation.”
In the other B-Section matches, Mpumalanga rose to fourth in the standings after beating Border 8-4 and defeating Limpo 7.5 – 4.5. Limpopo won the final round against Border 8-4.
A-SECTION RESULT – Round Four
Gauteng North 5.0 vs Southern Cape 7.0
Central Gauteng 7.5 vs Ekurhuleni 4.5
Western Province 10.0 vs Boland 2.0
Gauteng North 5.0 vs Southern Cape 7.0
(Players from Gauteng North are listed first in each match)
Kruse / Els lost to Meyer / Buitendag 2 & 1;
van der Knaap / Scheepers lost to Williams / Geldenhuys 1 Down;
Stoop / de Lange beat Barnard / Cloete 2 & 1;
Gauche / Smith beat Mitchell / Rebula 3 & 1;
Christoff Els lost to Jade Buitendag 4 & 2;
Andrew van der Knaap lost to Breyten Meyer 1 Down;
Philip Kruse beat Henk Geldenhuys 3 & 2;
Leon Scheepers lost to Ivan Williams 2 & 1;
Teaghan Gauche beat Stafie Barnard 3 & 2;
Keegan de Lange beat Jacques Cloete 5 & 4;
Hendrikus Stoop lost to Nicholas Mitchell 4 & 2;
Jason Smith lost to Jovan Rebula 4 & 3;
1 Central Gauteng (4, 4, 0, 0, 8, 31.5)
2 Western Province (4, 3, 0, 1, 6, 29.5)
3 Boland (4, 1, 2, 1, 4, 22.0)
4 Ekurhuleni (4, 1, 1, 2, 3, 22.5)
5 Southern Cape (4, 1, 0, 3, 2, 20.5)
6 Gauteng North (4, 0, 1, 3, 1, 18.0)
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.