Central Gauteng swoops in to claim Challenge Cup
On a day of high drama at Cullinan Golf Club, Basil Wright produced a champions shot in the final game to secure victory for Central Gauteng and wrench the Challenge Cup Teams Tournament victory title from the South African Golf Association Juniors.
The defending champions took a one shot lead into the final round against Central Gauteng, but Wright delivered a crushing blow at the final hole when he holed out for eagle to beat Dylan Mostert 1-up.
His triumph broke the deadlock and the resulting 6.5 – 5.5 victory brought glory for his team.
“As a rule we never single out players, but the whole team is hailing Basil as the hero of the hour,” said manager Andy Truluck.
“I don’t think anyone will mind if we give him the credit, but Shane Martin also deserves a huge pat on theh back, because his performance in the dying minutes of the match sparked the possibility of victory for us.
“This is a team tournament though, and this week was a team effort. Every player stood up to be counted, and I am incredibly proud of all eight players for their tremendous effort.”
The two sides were all-square through the foursomes after two halves, a win and a loss each, but the SAGA Juniors held sway in the singles.
“The SAGA Juniors managed to stay on top, despite a tremendous effort from our players,” Truluck said.
Luke Mayo and Matt Saulez drew first blood for the SAGA Juniors, but Rupert Kaminski secured a pivotal point for Central when he defeated Luca Filippi 6 & 5.
Hennie du Plessis put the SAGA Juniors back on the attack when he downed Dylan Naidoo 6 & 5.
Then Ludovic Bax clawed his way to a 3 & 2 victory against the country’s number one ranked junior, Jovan Rebula, and Jarred Miltz gave Central Gauteng a fighting chance when he defeated reigning Nomads SA Boys Stroke Play champion, Tristen Strydom, 3 & 2.
“It came down to Shane and Basil in the final matches out on the course,” said Truluck. “Shane was two down with three to play, but he battled back to halve the match against Gregory (McKay) and even the score at 5.5 all.
“The whole team rushed to support Basil and he knew the pressure was one him to win or lose it for us.”
Mostert had hit his approach to a fairly good spot on the 18th green, while Wright waited 60 meters out between trees on the left of the fairway.
“He hit the sweetest shot into the green and the ball rolled straight in the hole for eagle,” Truluck said. “The celebration was very emotional, because the SAGA Juniors were so impressive all week. They were a formidable side to beat and this victory will stay with the players for years to come.”
In the other matches, Gauteng North whipped the Presidents Team 9.5 – 3.5 and the University Sport SA side handed Western Province a 10 – 2 drubbing.
“Some of the teams lose their top players to the SAGA Juniors and the University Sport SA teams, but this gives the younger and more inexperienced players the opportunity to gain experience at this level, as was the case with our team this week,” said Gauteng North golf operations manager, Melette Hendrikse.
“The chance to line up in a national tournament of this stature is invaluable for them and the experience will serve them well when they represent their unions in future Inter-Provincials.”
FINAL ROUND RESULTS – Click Here
1 Central Gauteng (5 – 4 – 1 – 0 – 9 – 35.0)
2 SAGA Juniors (5 – 4 – 0 – 1 – 8 – 36.5)
3 Gauteng North (5 – 3 – 1 – 1 – 7 – 37.5)
4 University Sport SA (5 – 2 – 0 – 3 – 4 – 33.0)
5 Western Province (5 – 1 – 0 – 4 – 2 – 18.5)
6 Presidents Team (5 – 0 – 0 – 5 – 0 – 19.5)
PHOTO – 2014 Challenge Cup Team Tournament champions Central Gauteng; credit SAGA.
Back, from left to right back: Rupert Kaminski, Jarred Miltz, Dylan Naidoo, Andrew Carlsson, Andy Truluck (manager).
Front, from left to right: Shane Martin, Basil Wright, Ludovic Bax, Werner van Wyk.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.