UMHLALI, 7 October 2016 – Gauteng North and Free State put up a brave battle, but it was too little, too late as Gauteng celebrated a successful A-Division title defence and Southern Cape clinched the B-Division title at the South African Women’s Inter-Provincial Championship on Friday.
Gauteng scored formidable 8 – 1 victories against Border and Ekurhuleni in the first two rounds to effectively guarantee victory, but the defending champions hoped to finish the week at Umhlali Country Club with an unbeaten run.
However, a feisty Gauteng North had other ideas and showed up for the final tussle.
Gauteng North showed they were ready to tango with a win, a loss and one game halved in the foursomes that tied Gauteng. Reigning Nomads SA Girls champion Danielle du Toit defeated Gauteng number one Kajal Mistry 3 & 2 and Lindi Coetzee knocked out Symone Henriques 2-up to put Gauteng North in a commanding position.
Eleonora Galletti hit back for Gauteng, beating Eugenie Clack 2-up, but Gauteng North revelled in a 5 – 4 result after Marne Clack, Larissa du Preez and Lenanda van der Watt halved the last three games.
“The girls gave it everything they had and it was an incredibly tight fight to the end, especially in the last three games,” said Gauteng A manager Sheryl Matthews.
“The girls were disappointed because they really wanted to finish on a high, but on the day, Gauteng North was the stronger side and all credit to them on their performance.
“My team may be very young, but these girls showed incredible depth of character and maturity beyond their years to bring home the trophy again. I am incredibly proud of their fighting spirit and their commitment to the team, to Gauteng Ladies Golf and to each other.”
Ekurhuleni led the foursomes 2 – 1 in the other top draw match against Border and scored a near clean sweep in the singles to win 7 – 2.
Border’s Siviwe Duma beat Carmen Taljaard 6 & 5, but Casandra Hall replied with a 6 & 5 win against Yolanda Duma and Sarah Bouch Teagan Lubbe, Caitlyn MacNab and Jenefer Haw piled on the rest of their points.
Ekurhuleni and Gauteng North both ended the week on four points, but the Daisies edged into second spot on the final log with a lone games point advantage.
Western Province A finished the week at the top of the Division 2 standings after beating Gauteng B 5 – 4 in their final match. Boland handed Gauteng North B an 8 – 1 drubbing, but earlier losses meant that Gauteng B finished second, Boland third and Gauteng North B in the final spot.
Southern Cape gave golf fans on the Garden Route double cause for celebration.
Just two weeks after the Men’s team marched to the winner’s enclosure in the Premier SA IPT at the Fish River Sun, Sandra Winter led her charges to victory in the B-Section.
And, just like Gauteng, Southern Cape had laid the foundation for their success with convincing results in their first two scrimmages.
The Garden Route side mowed down Western Province B 5 – 1 in their opener and pummelled KwaZulu-Natal 5 – 1 in another dominated showing.
“We expected a tough final round match against Free State and we came up short, but the result tells the story,” said Southern Cape Ladies Golf Union president Laetitia Higgs after their 3.5 – 2.5 loss.
“We lost one foursomes game and halved another, so we went into the singles on the back foot and although the ladies fought unbelievably hard, we never really recovered.”
Ethel Ruthenberg whipped Zanele Mazibuko 6 & 5 to put Southern Cape back on equal footing, but Free State regained the lead when reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Match Play champion Lumien Orton downed Azelia Meichtry 3 & 1. Sandra Winter defeated Chante van Zyl 2 & 1 to give Southern Cape a glimmer of hope, but Bianca Wernich won the closely contested tussle with Sonja Bland 2 & 1 to secure the victory for Free State.
“We were determined to win the B-Division and the reward is very, very sweet,” Higgs said.
“We worked incredibly hard in our preparation for this year’s championship, playing a lot of foursomes and match play to get our girls into a competitive frame of mind. We also worked with renowned sport psychologist Maretha Claassens on the mental side, and having Sandra Winter on the team as the playing captain made a world of difference. Sandra, with all her experience as a national coach, led the team with incredible wisdom and grace and she was definitely instrumental in our victory.
“I want to congratulate all four players on an incredible job and and I hope they will take the time now to enjoy this fantastic achievement.”
Free State had to settle for second in the log, while KwaZulu-Natal took third after defeating Western Province B 5 – 1 in the final round.
Mpumalanga won the battle of the big guns in the bottom order of the draw when they edged out Eastern Province 3.5 – 2.5 to win the Division 2 title. North West saved their best for the final day and knocked out Limpopo by the same margin to take third in the final standings.
A-SECTION – Division 1
Gauteng A 4 vs Gauteng North A 5
Border 2 vs Ekurhuleni 7
A-SECTION LOG – Division 1
1 Gauteng A (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 20)
2 Gauteng North A (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 14)
3 Ekurhuleni (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 13)
4 Border (3, 0, 0, 3, 0, 7)
A-SECTION – Division 2
Western Province A 5 vs Gauteng B 4
Boland 8 vs Gauteng North B 1
A-SECTION LOG – Division 2
1 Western Province A (3, 3, 0, 0, 6, 16.5)
2 Gauteng B (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 15.5)
3 Boland (3, 1, 0, 2, 2, 15.5)
4 Gauteng North B (3, 0, 0, 3, 0, 6.5)
B-SECTION – Division 1
Southern Cape 2.5 vs Free State 3.5
Bland / Ruthenberg halved with Wernich / Mazibuko;
Meichtry / Winter lost to Orton / Van Zyl 2 & 1;
Sonja Bland lost to Bianca Wernich 2 & 1;
Ethel Ruthenberg beat Zanele Mazibuko 6 & 5;
Sandra Winter beat Chante Van Zyl 2 & 1;
Azelia Meichtry lost to Lumien Orton 3 & 1;
KwaZulu-Natal 5 vs Western Province B 1
B-SECTION LOG – Division 1
1 Southern Cape (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 12.5)
2 Free State (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 10)
3 KwaZulu-Natal (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 9.5)
4 Western Province B (3, 0, 0, 3, 0, 4)
B-SECTION – Division 2
Eastern Province 2.5 vs Mpumalanga 3.5
Limpopo 2.5 vs North West 3.5
B-SECTION LOG – Division 2
1 Mpumalanga (3, 3, 0, 0, 6, 12)
2 Eastern Province (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 13.5)
3 North West (3, 1, 0, 2, 2, 6)
4 Limpopo (3, 0, 0, 3, 0, 4.5)