KZN & North West in pound seats at SA IPT

KwaZulu-Natal and North West were off to a winning start in the battle for promotion in the 56th South African Inter-Provincial Championship, sponsored by Tempest, at the Fish River Sun Resort on Monday.

KwaZulu-Natal defeated Free State 9 – 3, but Ricardo Look from Limpopo spoiled their party and the 2009 champions had to settle for an 11.5 – 0.5 victory against Limpopo.

The games points, however, did help KwaZulu-Natal to the top spot in the B-Section Log ahead of North West, who whipped Mpumalanga 9.5 – 2.5 and beat Eastern Province 7 – 5.

Eastern Province limited the damage by handing Mpumalanga an 8 – 4 drubbing, while Free State rallied to down Limpopo 8.5 – 3.5.

Gavin Sole – an Inter-Provincial veteran of 23 years – led the way for KwaZulu-Natal with double victory. Sole defeated Barend Strydom from Limpopo 2-up and he claimed a 4 & 2 result over Free State’s Ivan van der Merwe to lead the team on a merry march.

Rookie Louis Albertse also scored a double, while the team’s other debutant, Jason Broomhead, took the team’s first scalp against Limpopo when he downed Peter Masehela 7 & 6.

Gregory Mckay squared against Loock and Clayton Mansfield, Siyanda Mwandla, Malcolm Mitchell and Matt Saulez reeled in the rest of the points.

KwaZulu-Natal carried a 3 – 1 lead into the singles against Free State and the match went a similar route.

Broomhead and Mwandla lost the battle to Wilco Nienaber and Andre van Zyl respectively, and Mansfield squared against Therion Nel.

Meanwhile North West showed some great skills in the three-club wind that terrorized the field in the afternoon,

Having scored a clean sweep against Mpumalanga in the Foursomes, Albert Britz, Christo Peens, Riaan Swart, Slade Pickering and Aubrey Beckley pushed North West into the driver’s seat and Theunie Bezuidenhout halved against Kevin Smith to give the side a decisive win.

Eastern Province managed to win one and halve another game in the foursomes and put up a huge fight in the singles, but they couldn’t stop the North West Express.

Peens, Pickering, Beckley and Danie van Niekerk added to North West’s tally and Riaan Swart sealed the 7 – 5 victory when he squared his game against Hando Brophy.

All was not lost for Eastern Province and Free State, though, who managed to limit the damage by defeating Mpumalanga 8 – 4 and Limpopo 8.5 – 3.5 respectively.

Border enjoyed a first round bye and will get their 2016 campaign underway against Limpopo and Eastern Cape on Tuesday.

Eastern Province 8 vs Mpumalanga 4
Mpumalanga 2.5 vs North West 9.5
Eastern Province 5 vs North West 7
KwaZulu-Natal 9 vs Free State 3
Limpopo 0.5 vs KwaZulu-Natal 11.5
Limpopo 3.5 vs Free State 8.5

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 KwaZulu-Natal (2, 2, 0, 0, 4, 20.5)
2 North West (2, 2, 0, 0, 4, 16.5)
3 Eastern Province (2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 13)
4 Free State (2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 11.5)
5 Mpumalanga (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 6.5)
6 Limpopo (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 4)

PHOTO 1 – Gavin Sole from KwaZulu-Natal; credit Shannon Bright
PHOTO 2 – Aubrey Beckley from North West; credit Shannon Bright

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

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