Boland, Central Gauteng and WP pull ahead at SA IPT

Boland, Western Province and defending champions Central Gauteng are in the driver’s seat after the second round foursomes at the South African Interprovincial at Port Elizabeth Golf Club.

After a first round loss to Boland, Province bounced back to take a 3-1 lead over Limpopo and Central Gauteng whipped KwaZulu-Natal by the same margin. Boland also surrendered just one game, but captain Phillip Spies said there is still work to be done if they hope to beat Gauteng North.

“We still have a steep hill to climb this afternoon,” said Spies, who partnered Anton Oosthuizen to a 3&2 win over Aubrey Barnard and Zander Lombard.

“There are no gimmies at this level, so to have a 3-1 cushion is always nice ahead of the singles.”

Spies felt that the south-westerly wind, which was blowing at approximately 20km per hour and is estimated to pick up this afternoon, will also add to the pressure.

“It’s going to be a tough afternoon, dealing with the wind and the Gauteng North players, who won’t this lying down. They will come out strong to make up the deficit in the first few singles.”

Although Western Province skipper Werner Theart and partner Delin Eramus lost their game, the captain was thrilled that the rest of his charges stepped up to the challenge.

Michael Loppnow and Dylan Raubenheimer secured their first point with a 5&3 win over Paul de Beer and Limpopo skipper Nico Myburgh, followed by a 5&4 win from Justin Turner and Le Riche Ehlers.

Gerlou Roux and JP Strydom sealed their third point when they beat Tiaan Diedericks and Jacques Kruyswijk 3&2.

“We let ourselves down in the foursomes on Monday,” said Theart. “We worked really hard this morning to turn the tide in our favour and every guy on the team knows how important each singles game will be this afternoon. We just need to keep the momentum.

Meanwhile Ekurhuleni handed Eastern Province a 2½ – 1½ points beating in the B-Section foursomes and the home side will need a solid run in the singles to keep their promotion dream alive.

The local favourites were in the same position against Southern Cape and Free State Northern Cape in Monday’s first round, but used their skill in the wind to win four points off the Garden Route side and beat Free State 7½ – 4½. Team manager Richard Hargreaves hopes for more of the same.

“I hope the trend continues,” he said. “The wind is up and getting stronger and that should put the odds in favour.”

SA IPT veteran Waylon Kukard said the Ekurhuleni team know it will be a tough afternoon, but he was confident the team could give Eastern Province a run for their money.

“They obviously have more skills playing in the wind, but we have a lot of experience in the team and our three new caps have played exceptionally well given the pressure,” he said. “We will respect their skills, but we will take the fight to them.”

Riding a the wave of confidence after their double success on Monday, Southern Cape set up two more possible victories with solid results in the foursomes.

The Garden Route side enjoyed a 4-0 white wash over Border and lead North West Province 2½ – 1½, who are also in a commanding position with three and half points to Borders’ half point ahead of the singles.

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