KRUGERSDORP, 19 December 2014 – The Western Province was in ascendancy for the 14th time since 1966 when they lifted the South African Under-19 Inter-Provincial Championship at Krugersdorp Golf Club on Friday.
“This is an incredible moment for the whole squad,” said elated skipper Luke Trocado, who led the squad to triumph in the A-Division with four successive victories and a hard-fought tie against defending champions Central Gauteng in the final round.
“We worked exceptionally hard for this, right down to the last game. We took nothing for granted and we kept the same intensity and focus going throughout the week. We had to dig extremely deep to square this final against Central, and we are really proud that we stuck together to pull it off.”
Team manager James Wade described the final tussle as a ding-dong battle from start to finish.
“We were a point down after a win and halve in the Foursomes, and the lads knew they had job to do in the Singles,” he said.
“We went up in some games and down in others and the lead kept changing throughout the afternoon. Then Central won the first two games to go 4.5 up, but our guys dug in to turn things around.”
Noel Anderson claimed Province’s first scalp in the Singles when he defeated Dean Martin 3 & 2, but David Meyers retaliated for Central to beat Alistair Showdown 4 & 2.
Michael Sherriff then eagled the 10th and birdied 12 and 13 and downed Karabo Mokoena @ & 1 to take the team’s tally to 3.5.
Luca Filippi, four down through 12, caught fire with a birdie at the 14th and reeled in on the trot from 16th to halve his match against Rupert Kaminsky.
With Central Gauteng leading 6 -4, it came down to the skipper and number one Altin van der Merwe to win their games to force a stale mate.
“Luke played a captain’s innings,” Wade said.
“He was two up through four holes after birdies at two, three and four and never looked back. He birdied the 16th to beat Dylan Naidoo 3 & 2 that got us crucial point.”
Van der Merwe was 1-down after nine against Marco Steyn, but eagled the par-five 10th to square the game. He birdied the 12th to stay all square, but Steyn dropped shots at the 13th and 14th that gave Van der Merwe a 2-up lead.
“Marco birdied 17 to take the game down the last, but Altin was brilliant,” Trocado said. “His drive split the fairway and he hit a great approach pin high right, and his putt for birdie stopped on the lip. It would have been brilliant if that putt dropped, but it still good enough to win the game and guarantee us victory with a 6-all draw against Central.”
In parting, Wade said was impressed with the fantastic sportsmanship among the teams.
“The camaraderie between the teams was really something amazing to watch,” he said. “There was a great atmosphere at this year’s championship. The matches were played with passion and intensity, but once everyone came off the course, it was pleasing to see players from all over country strike up friendships.”
Ekurhuleni had an outside chance to win the championship if Central Gauteng prevailed and shuffled their batting order to strengthen their chances at the front.
The move paid off handsomely as the team took a 3 -1 lead in the Foursomes and notched six Singles victories to hand Southern Cape a 9.5 – 2.5 drubbing.
Ekurhuleni finished second in the standings on eight points one point ahead of defending champions Central Gauteng.
Meanwhile Gauteng North launched a full assault at Limpopo to avoid relegation and handed the side an 11 – 1 whipping.
The boys in blue lost one game in the Foursomes and scored a clean sweep in the Singles to celebrate their first victory in this year’s championship in true style.
KwaZulu-Natal won the promotion battle in the third round with five victories and remained unbeaten against Eastern Province in the final round to book their berth in the A-Division in the 2015 edition at Worcester Golf Club.
FINAL ROUND RESULTS
Gauteng North 11.0 vs Limpopo 1.0
Ekurhuleni 9.5 vs Southern Cape 2.5
Western Province 6.0 vs Central Gauteng 6.0
1 Western Province (5, 4, 1, 0, 9, 39.5)
2 Ekurhuleni (5, 4, 0, 1, 8, 39.5)
3 Central Gauteng (5, 3, 1, 1, 7, 35.5)
4 Southern Cape (5, 2, 0, 3, 4, 31.5)
5 Gauteng North (5, 1, 0, 4, 2, 26.0)
6 Limpopo (5, 0, 0, 5, 0, 8.0)
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.