DOWERGLEN, 24 September 2015 – The promotion battle will come down to a showdown between Gauteng North and KwaZulu-Natal in Friday’s final round, but the A-Section battle for supremacy will depend on Western Province’s resolve and Ekurhuleni’s tenacity in Friday’s final round at the 55th South African Inter-Provincial, sponsored by Tempest.
Central Gauteng has been invincible over the first three days and kept their unbeaten record alive with an 8 – 4 result against Southern Cape on Thursday for a fourth successive victory at Glendower Golf Club.
The defending champion are just one match away from a record 28th victory in the prestigious team championship, but the final round could prove their toughest test.
Central Gauteng tops the log with eight points and 30 game points, but Ekurhuleni handed Eastern Province an 8.5 – 3.5 hiding to move into second.
With six points and 27 game points in hand, the host union still has an outside chance of lifting their first A-Section title.
However, Ekurhuleni will have to whip Boland in the final round and hope that Province can stave off Central Gauteng in the final match.
“It might sound improbable, but stranger things have happened and that’s why we are definitely not counting our chickens just yet,” said Central Gauteng manager Jaco du Plessis.
“It’s never over till it’s over, so we will take the exact same approach to our match against Western Province as any other team and try to come away with the maximum points.”
Central Gauteng overpowered Eastern Province in the Foursomes to lead 3.5 – 1.5.
Jason Viljoen, Matthew Spacey, Ryan Dreyer and Marco Steyn racked in victories that put Central in the driver’s seat and Darin de Smidt halved against Cameron Moralee.
De Smidt birdied 15 and 16 to square the game against Moralee and halved the 17th with a birdie after the Southern Cape player scored a hole-in-one. The pair halved the game with pars at 18.
“We spend a lot of time on our preparation for the championship,” Du Plessis said.
“We paid particular attention to our Foursomes pairings, because a strong starts alleviates the pressure in the Singles. We have four players who can play at one and four that can play at three, but eight very committed guys who play for the team.
“I believe that has been our biggest strength this week.”
Ekurhuleni beat Eastern Province 3 – 1 in the Foursomes and Ernest Botha, Sentanio Minnie, Teagan Moore, Paul Boshoff and Kyle McClatchie came up trumps in the Singles to give the host union a healthy lead.
Dylan Mostert holed out at the par-three 14th, and despite bogeys at 15 and 18, the young gun managed to halve his match with Eastern Province’s Sieg Human.
Meanwhile the joint 2012 champions faced off in the final match.
Boland went into the Singles with a one point edge over Western Province after winning two games and halving another in the Foursomes.
Philip Spies boosted their tally when he defeated Sean Bradley 6 & 5, but Werner Theart, Luca Filippi, Drew Denyer and Gerlou Roux won their games to put Western Province on the attack.
It came down to the last three games and Herman Loubser, Armandt Scholtz and Karl Ocshe kept up the pressure to secure a 6.5 – 5.5 win for Boland.
Scholtz downed Altin van der Merwe 2 & 1, Loubser notched a hat-trick of birdies from 13 to defeat Carlo O’Reilly 2 & 1; and Karl Ochse parred the 18th to beat Michael Sherriff win 1-up.
A-SECTION – DAY 4 RESULTS
Central Gauteng 8 vs Southern Cape 4
Dill / Spacey beat Williams / Manchest 4 & 3;
Viljoen / Wright halved with Rebula / Moralee;
Dreyer / de Smidt beat Nel / Buitendag 5 & 4;
Meyers / Steyn beat Mitchell / Frylinck 2 & 1;
Andi Dill lost to Ivan Williams 5 & 3;
Jason Viljoen beat Franklin Manchest 2 & 1;
Darin de Smidt halved with Cameron Moralee;
Matthew Spacey beat Jade Buitendag 3 & 2;
Basil Wright lost to Jovan Rebula 4 & 3;
Ryan Dreyer beat Andre Nel 5 & 4;
Marco Steyn beat Heinrich Frylinck 5 & 4;
David Meyers lost to Nicholas Mitchell 3 & 2;
FOURTH ROUND SCORES:
Central Gauteng 8 – Southern Cape 4
Ekurhuleni 8.5 – Eastern Province 3.5
Boland 6.5 – Western Province 5.5
1 Central Gauteng (4, 4, 0, 0, 8, 30.0)
2 Ekurhuleni (4, 3, 0, 1, 6, 27.0)
3 Southern Cape (4, 2, 0, 2, 4, 26.5)
4 Boland (4, 2, 0, 2, 4, 23.0)
5 Western Province (4, 1, 0, 3, 2, 20.5)
6 Eastern Province (4, 0, 0, 4, 0, 17.0)
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.