JOHANNESBURG, 18 April 2014 – Central Gauteng beat Ekurhuleni with the narrowest margin to claim the last South African U-23 Inter-Provincial Championship title.
Just an hour after the Western Province seniors denied the Central Gauteng by half a games point in the INDWE South African Senior Inter-Provincial, the Under-23 team put the smile back on the union’s members when they beat Ekurhuleni by the same margin.
Both teams began the final round on seven points, but Central Gauteng held a slender one games point edge over Ekurhuleni after four rounds at Country Club Johannesburg.
Ekurhuleni threw down the gauntlet with a superb 10 – 2 victory over KwaZulu-Natal, but Central Gauteng retaliated with a spirited challenge to defeat Gauteng North with an impressive 9.5 – 2.5.
Central Gauteng won three Foursomes games, while Ludovic Bax and Rupert Kaminski squared against Rosswell Sinclair and Albert Venter to give Central Gauteng a 3.5 – 0.5 lead heading into the Singles.
Matthew Kiewitz, Kyle Barker, Jason Rossiter, Werner van Wyk, Jason Viljoen and Bax reeled in the victories to hand Central Gauteng the victory.
“I am incredibly proud of this team and I want to congratulate them on a really fantastic effort,” said manager Andy Trueluck.
“The players knew we were under the gun, but they dug in their heels and pulled together to beat Gauteng North and our winning margins in the last round Singles were really impressive.
“As the hosts of the last championship, we really wanted to win the SA U-23 Inter-Provincial and I have to applaud the eight players who made this happen.
“Their team spirit was unbelievable and their determination to succeed commendable. It was a fantastic week with very tightly-fought battles. Every player on the team made a contribution to this victory and rallied to bring the trophy to Central Gauteng Golf Union.”
KwaZulu-Natal managed to take a Foursome and halve another, but the coastal side was paralysed by the Ekurhuleni onslaught in the Singles.
Angus Ellis-Cole halved his game against Ruben Coetzer and the rest of the team – Chris van Tonder, Bryce McCabe, Dylan Mostert, Sentanio Minnie, Teagan Moore, Stefan Cronje and Nkosinathi Dauwa – came up trumps to win seven games.
“We had some concerns when we lost four of our top players, but we needn’t have worried,” said Ekurhuleni Golf Union president Martin Saayman.
“Tristen Strydom, Paul Boshoff and Kyle McClatchie could not play and Jason Froneman turned professional. But all this meant at the end of the day is that we now know that we have incredible depth and talent in Ekurhuleni.
“As far as coming up half-a-games point short, these eight players are winners in my eyes. They punched well above their weight and did an incredible job to get us into second place.
“They showed incredible character to keep fighting, especially in the final round. Coming out on top is everyone’s goal, but this team proved this week that sometimes coming second can be a victory, too.”
1 Central Gauteng (5, 4, 1, 0, 9, 41.5)
2 Ekurhuleni (5, 4, 1, 0, 9, 41.0)
T3 Gauteng North (5, 2, 1, 2, 5, 31.0)
T3 Western Province (5, 2, 1, 2, 5, 31.0)
5 KwaZulu-Natal (5, 1, 0, 4, 2, 25.5)
6 North West (5, 0, 0, 5, 0, 10.0)
1 Southern Cape (5, 4, 1, 0, 9, 38.0)
2 Free State (5, 2, 3, 0, 7, 31.5)
3 Boland (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 31.5)
4 Eastern Province (5, 2, 0, 3, 4, 28.5)
5 Mpumalanga (5, 1, 1, 3, 3, 27.5)
6 Limpopo (5, 0, 1, 4, 1, 23.0)
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.