EP seals SA Senior IPT promotion

Eastern Province emerged as the undisputed champions in an epic battle for supremacy against Boland in the final round of the 30th South African Senior Inter-Provincial in Knysna on Friday.

Just 12 months after the side was relegated at Kyalami Golf Club, Eastern Province beat Norrthern Cape 9 – 3 and scored a hard-fought for 6.5 – 5.5 victory over Boland to secure their passage back to the A-Division.

“The match against Boland was tightly contested, but our players all kept a cool head under pressure,” said manager Deon Nel as the sun set on the championship course at Pezula Golf Estate.

“It went right down to the wire, but the single-mindedness of the players was incredible. I am so incredibly proud of the heart this team showed this week to get the promotion.”

Over three days of intense battles, superb shot-making and pressure putts, both had gathered six points to top the B-Division log with six points. However, Boland had the narrowest of leads with 29.5 to 29 games points over Eastern Province.

“We had a three-way draw against Boland and Northern Cape and we made great start against Northern Cape to lead the foursomes 3 – 1, but we lost three of our games against Boland,” said EP captain Ryno Ferreira.

Eastern Province had their backs to the wall, but Colin (Mkhuseli) Mavuso and Manie Daniels opened the batting in the singles in spectacular style.

Mavuso defeated Johan Bezuidenhout 6 & 5 and Daniels downed Nico Ross 6 & 5 to take EP’s tally against Northern Cape to five points. The victories signalled Boland that these boys meant business, and the pair both got their Boland scalps later in the round.

Ferreira, Karl du Preez, Ian Pienaar and Greg de Doncker racked up four more points for Eastern Province to bank their first victory. When Du Preez whipped Franz Lohbauer 5 & 4 and Ferreira beat Andre van Dyk 5 & 4 to square the match with Boland, the bottom order stepped up the fight.

“We knew Attie Burger and Peter (Mziyanda) Zingela were going to have the toughest matches against Boland’s one and two, so we had to take the pressure off our top order,” said Ferreira.

“Karl and I got us level, but when I came past Greg through nine holes, he wouldn’t even look at me. I still thought the poor rookie must be taking punishment from Jorrie Jordaan, but next thing we hear Greg won 4 & 3.

“Suddenly we are up on Boland. Peter and Attie were really battling, so we sent a message to Colin and Manie and those two put it into fifth gear. Colin knocked out George Bezuidenhout 2 & 1 and Manie took down Jaco Visagie 1-up.

“We were leading 6 – 3, but Attie lost 2 down to Ferdi van der Merwe and Francois le Roux beat Peter 2 & 1. Ian didn’t even look our way when he came up 18. He just cosied the ball right up to the hole and made sure of the half point against Archie Steyn to get us the win.”

Eastern Province was relegated in 2014, won the B-Division in 2015, but was handed the wooden spoon again last year.

“We’re not going through this again next year,” said Nel. “The team worked incredibly hard to prepare for this year’s championship. We have a fantastic bunch of guys who fought until the last putt in every match. They never gave up and they have made me, and our union, incredibly proud.”

Boland defeated Northern Cape 8.5 – 3.5 for second in the standings.

Border finished in third on six points after beating Limpopo 8.5 – 3.5 and Free State 8 – 4. And Free State held out to defeat Limpopo 7.5 – 4.5 to take fourth in the final log.

Senior B-Division Final Round Results
Eastern Province 9 vs Northern Cape 3
Eastern Province 6.5 vs Boland 5.5
Northern Cape 3.5 vs Boland 8.5
Free State 7.5 vs Limpopo 4.5
Free State 4 vs Border 8
Limpopo 3.5 vs Border 8.5

Seniors A-Division Final Log
(Position, Union, Played, Win, Draw, Loss, Points, Games)
1 Eastern Province (5, 5, 0, 0, 10, 44.5)
2 Boland (5, 4, 0, 1, 8, 43.5)
3 Border (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 33.5)
4 Free State (5, 2, 0, 3, 4, 24.0)
5 Northern Cape (5, 1, 0, 4, 2, 24.0)
6 Limpopo (5, 0, 0, 5, 0, 10.5)

PHOTO – The 2017 SA Senior Inter-Provincial B-Division champions Eastern Province; credit Elle Redman (http://ellephoto.co.za).
Back, left to right – Deon Nel (manager), Karl du Preez, Attie Burger, Peter (Mziyanda) Zingela, Ian Pienaar
Front, left to right – Manie Daniels, Ryno Ferreira (captain), Greg de Doncker and Colin (Mkhuseli) Mavuso.

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.

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