WORCESTER, 15 December 2015 – Western Province forced their title defence back on track, the Free State Express kept on rolling and Northern Cape made an impressive debut in the promotion battle at the South African U-19 Inter-Provincial in Worcester on Tuesday.
Western Province bounced back with a fine showing on a day when a strong easterly wind severely tested the field at Worcester Golf Club.
Province took advantage of their skills in the wind take the top spot in the A-Section log on seven points after thumping Boland and KwaZulu-Natal 8 – 4.
The Cape side scored a narrow one point win against Central Gauteng and drew against Gauteng North on Monday and it looked like it might be another tough day at the office after a struggling start in the Foursomes.
They trailed KwaZulu-Natal 1.5 – 2.5 and tied Boland 2-all but, as the wind picked up speed and lashed around the unprotected front nine, Western Province turned up the head on the opposition.
Hilmi Mallick beat Chris Woollam 6 & 5 to erase the deficit against KwaZulu-Natal and Deon Germishuys put Western Province in attack mode when he won 6 & 4.
Cole Cruickshank claimed first blood against Boland when he whipped Eduard de Villiers 7 & 5 and Germishuys defeated Dandre Spies 5 & 4 to turn the tide for Province.
“Winning the first two Singles against KZN definitely changed the momentum in that match and taking two early wins against Boland set us up nicely to win that match, too,” said Western Province skipper Michael Sherriff.
“When you look closely at the scorecards, you’ll see that we also struggled like everyone else, but we just made more pars to be honest. We hit a lot of low shots to try and keep the ball in play.
“It was really tough when the wind was gusting up to 50 km per hour and birdies were few and far between today, but our guys kept cool heads to put us back into the fight.”
In the remaining A-Section matches, KwaZulu-Natal downed Boland while Gauteng North carved out a hard-fought for victory over Ekurhuleni.
KwaZulu-Natal carried a 3 – 1 lead into the Singles, where Ruben Coetzer, Liam McIlroy, Jason Broomhead and Gregory McKay took care of business to secure an 8 – 4 victory.
Having won the Foursomes 2.5 – 1.5, Estiaan Conradie handed Burt Gildenhuys a 7 & 6 hiding to give Gauteng North a solid start the Singles, but Brandon Gildenhuys, Jason Thalrose and Tristen Strydom mounted a strong assault to put Ekurhuleni ahead.
However, Keegan de Lange, Cliffie Thompson, Keegan McLachlan and Ross Sinclair delivered the winning blows for Gauteng North.
The 7.5 – 4.5 took Gauteng North’s tally to four points, but with 19.5 games points, they edged out Southern Cape, who enjoyed a second round bye.
Having steamrolled Border and Mpumalanga to gain four points on Monday, Free State continued their winning march and handed North West an 8.5 – 3.5 drubbing to strengthen their position at the top of the B-Section standings.
Border gained two valuable points for defeating Limpopo 6.5 – 5.5, but the day belonged to newcomers Northern Cape.
The debutants thumped Border 7.5 – 4.5 and rallied to square their second match against Limpopo.
Border dominated the Foursomes to win 2.5 – 1.5, but Vuyu Klaas, Louis Fourie, NJ van der Walt, Martin van Jaarsveld and Joshua Edwards piled on points in the Singles to secure the win for Northern Cape.
The side drew 2-all against Limpopo in the Foursomes, but Van der Walt, Van Jaarsveld and Edwards secured three points in the Singles, while Arno Esterhuysen and Louis Fourie forced the 6-all result when they squared their respective matches.
“Free State’s manager Nicky Nel said this wind would be called Hurricane Katrina at home and I couldn’t agree more,” said delighted manager Rias Rabie.
“We are definitely not used to competing in conditions like this and there was a lot of nerves this morning. We didn’t have unrealistic expectations for our first appearance in this national championship, but we did set ourselves a goal of finishing in the top five.
“Our team is pretty young, with six players under 17, so this has already been fantastic experience for them. The boys were very hungry to get us the best possible start and, although, I was a little apprehensive to see how they would handle the 60 km per hour wind and the pressure, they stood up to be counted. All I can say is that I am incredibly proud of their opening performance.”
Free State, with four straight victories, lead the log with six points.
North West is second, while Northern Cape moved into third spot with three points. Border, Mpumalanga and Eastern Province all have two points.
A-SECTION ROUND TWO RESULTS
Western Province 8 Boland 4
Western Province 8 KwaZulu-Natal 4
KwaZulu-Natal 8 – Boland 4
Gauteng North 7.5 – Ekurhuleni 4.5
1 Western Province (4, 3, 1, 0, 7, 28.5)
2 Gauteng North (3, 1, 2, 0, 4, 19.5)
3 Southern Cape (2, 2, 0, 0, 4, 16.5)
4 KwaZulu-Natal (4, 1, 0, 3, 2, 21)
5 Ekurhuleni (3, 1, 0, 2, 2, 15)
6 Central Gauteng (2, 0, 1, 1, 1, 11.5)
7 Boland (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 8)
B-SECTION ROUND 2 RESULTS
Free State 8.5 – North West 3.5
Border 6.5 – Limpopo 5.5
Northern Cape 7.5 – Border 4.5
Northern Cape 6 – Limpopo 6
1 Free State (3, 3, 0, 0, 6, 29.0)
2 North West (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 18.5)
3 Northern Cape (2, 1, 1, 0, 3, 13.5)
4 Border (4, 1, 0, 3, 2, 13.5)
5 Mpumalanga (2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 13.0)
6 Eastern Province (2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 11.5)
7 Limpopo (4, 0, 1, 3, 1, 21.0)
PHOTO – Team Northern Cape at the SA U-19 Inter-Provincial at Worcester Golf Club; credit SAGA.
PHOTO – Team Western Province at the SA U-19 Inter-Provincial at Worcester Golf Club; credit SAGA.
For further information, please contact:
Gerhard Conradie (SAGA President) Cell: 082 374 3454
Bruce Younge (SAGA Executive Director) Cell: 082 374 3455
Eden Thompson (SAGA Golf Integration Manager) Cell: 078 574 0652
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.