Battles lines drawn for INDWE SA Senior IPT

Central Gauteng are ready to welcome the country’s top senior and super senior amateurs for the 28th playing of the INDWE SA Senior Amateur Inter-Provincial at the Wanderers Golf Club and Killarney Country Club from 12-15 April.

It has been two years since the host union – who dominated with 11 victories between 2002 and 2013 – celebrated success, seven years since KwaZulu-Natal enjoyed a podium finish and 14 years since Gauteng North defeated Central Gauteng to lift the trophy.

Western Province has ruled the roost with four victories in the last five years and INDWE Risk Services managing director Peter Olyott believes the thriving rivalry between the teams definitely sets the stage for fierce battles in this year’s edition of the prestigious team event.

“The rivalry between Western Province, Central Gauteng and Gauteng North have always been strong and in recent years, the final result – especially in the senior division – has gone down to the wire.

“Because this rivalry draws so much attention, one tends to forget about the rest of the teams until one of them causes an upset. KwaZulu-Natal has enjoyed a lot of success and Southern Cape, North West and Ekurhuleni have gained a lot of experience in this format. It certainly wouldn’t surprise us if one of the other teams serve up a surprise this year.

“Let’s not forget the fabulous manner in which Eastern Province marched to victory in the B-Division last year. They may be considered the underdogs, but if Eastern Province can reproduce the same form this year, they could certainly cause a major upset.

“It is all these factors and permutations that adds to the popularity of the annual INDWE SA Senior Amateur Inter-Provincial and we are definitely in for some exciting times and fierce battles at the Wanderers.”

Central Gauteng manager Jaco du Plessis said the teams hope to make the most of their home course advantage at Wanderers Golf Club in their opening matches on Tuesday to lay the foundation for a winning punch and spoil the party for Western Province.

“A home IPT is never easy as the expectation from the local faithful just adds to the pressure of an already tricky situation,” Du Plessis said.

“Having said this, I have always believed that the best way to counter this is good preparation and team belief. This is what we have tried to achieve the last few weeks.

“We are very lucky with our Super Senior side to have a guy like Colin Weinstein captaining the side in his 16th SA Senior IPT. Experience like this is invaluable when it comes to motivating a team. We have not only retained Colin, but also Ian Smith and Smart Ncube from last year and we welcome Frank Johnson, who has been very consistent and fits in really well with the rest of the guys.

“Our Senior team have come so close at the last two INDWE SA Senior Amateur Inter-Provincials. Both times they lost on a games count to Western Province and we really feel that we have a score to settle this year.”

Schalk Naude will skipper the side alongside team regulars Jock Wellington, Gavin van Aswegen and Richard Bruyns, while the debutants are reigning SA Senior Open champion Steve Williams, current CGGU Mid-Amateur captain Stephen Johnston, Johan Swart and Glen Gleeson.

“It is really great to have guys like Johan, Stephen and Steve coming through to represent us at senior level,” said Du Plessis.

“Steve has been eligible for the last few years, but was still focusing on the mid-amateur circuit where he obtain his national colours last year. He started representing this union back in 1978, which was two years before I was born. He has more than proven his commitment to us and we are really pleased that he decided to play more senior events this year.

“Glen stepped in for one of our regulars, Alan Fraser, at the last minute. He is a fierce competitor and a very competent replacement for Alan, who unfortunately had to withdraw.

“It is never easy leaving a player of the calibre of Lawrence Franklin out of a team, but we know he will be back on form soon and we are confident that the four new guys will provide us with the fire power we need to make a good run at the title.”

The B-Division battle for promotion will be contested at Killarney Country Club between Boland, Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Northern Cape.

The format for all the divisions in the 28th Indwe SA Senior Amateur Inter-Provincial will be foursomes and singles over four rounds of competition.

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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