Central Gauteng lifts record 27th SA IPT title

Twelve months after they marched to an unbeaten victory at Westlake Golf Club, Central Gauteng was in ascendancy again in the 55th South African Inter-Provincial Championship, sponsored by Tempest, at Glendower Golf Club.

The defending champions put an exclamation mark behind another unbeaten run to claim the union’s record 27th victory in the prestigious annual team event when they staved off a resuscitated Western Province in a closely fought final round tussle to triumph 8 – 4.

“The team performed from day one and stuck to our game plan,” said team manager Jaco du Plessis.

“I demanded perfection from this team and they all stood up to be counted. This marks the first time since 2005 / 2006 that we successfully defended the title.

“Winning all our matches for two successive years speaks volumes about the character of these players. This might be a young team, but their grit and determination was unparalleled for five days and they richly deserve to take this cup home.”

Central Gauteng launched their title defence with a 7 – 5 result against Eastern Province.

The side thumped Boland 7.5 – 4.5, beat Ekurhuleni 7.5 – 4.5 and defeated Southern Cape 8 – 4 to reach the final round but despite a two point lead, the eight man side took nothing for granted.

Showing the same fighting spirit that carried them to the winner’s circle in Cape Town last year, they took the attack to Western Province and won two games and halved another to lead the Foursomes 2.5 – 1.5.

Andi Dill, Jason Viljoen and Darin de Smidt burst from the blocks and quickly racked up three points in the Singles to give the team some breathing room.

Michael Sherriff flattened David Meyers 5 & 3 to claim first blood for Province and Gerlou Roux downed Basil Wright 2 & 1 to boost their tally, but Matthew Spacey drove home the imminent victory when he beat Sean Bradley 2 & 1.

IPT stalwart Ryan Dreyer pushed home to defeat Altin van der Merwe 1-up and Marco Steyn halved the final game for the four point victory

“This is an incredible celebration for the squad and the supporters,” said an elated Du Plessis.

“We prepared really well for this week, but there is no describing what this means to us. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but if you ask me to name the outstanding players this week, I would have to say all of them.

“I will add that Andi played a true captain’s innings and Ryan was an incredible banker in the middle order and ‘father’ to the boys.

“Rupert Kaminski was part of our group, but he recently left to take up a scholarship at Oklahoma City University. Jason, who played for us in 2013, came into the team and was incredible asset and we are very proud of his Most Valuable Player achievement.

“I have to thank Andy Truluck for his awesome assistance, our supporters, who really inspired us, Tempest for their incredible support of the SA IPT and Glendower for providing us with this unbelievable stage to celebrate our 27th victory.”

Southern Cape, meanwhile, mowed down Eastern Province 9 – 3, but the Garden Route side had to settle for third place in the log with six points for a third successive year after Ekurhuleni edged them out for second after drawing 6-all with Boland in the final round.

Eastern Province will be heading back to the B-Section after a tough examination, while 2013 champions Gauteng North return to the top draw after sealing their promotion with an unchallenged performance at Glendower.

Western Province 4 vs Central Gauteng 8
Southern Cape 9 vs Eastern Province 3
Boland 6 vs Ekurhuleni 6

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Central Gauteng (5, 5, 0, 0, 10, 38.0)
2 Ekurhuleni (5, 3, 1, 1, 7, 33.0)
3 Southern Cape (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 35.5)
4 Boland (5, 2, 1, 2, 5, 29.0)
5 Western Province (5, 1, 0, 4, 2, 24.5)

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

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