North West crowned SA Country Districts champions

North West Province claimed the A-Section title in a show of true sportsmanship at the 2016 South African Country Districts Tournament at Nelspruit Golf Club on Friday.

When their manager Leon Beval clinched the Manager’s Championship ahead of the tournament, the North West team took this as a good omen.

The 2013 champions pummelled Ekurhuleni 11 – 1 in their opening match and handed both Boland and Free State an 8 – 4 drubbing to top the standings. Heading into the final round, all the team needed was one final show of strength against Mpumalanga to seal the deal. This time, however, victory took a back seat to the spirit of the game of golf.

The two teams tied at 2-all in the Foursomes, but Marco Schoenfeld gave North West an early edge when he defeated Ivan Mare 6 & 5.

Naithen Moore widened the gap to two points when he downed Peetie van der Merwe 4 & 3, but Ru-Jean Lessingh hit back for Mpumalanga with a 2 & 1 win against Tiaan Maree.

Johan Krugel downed Chris Zietsman 2 & 1 to extend North West’s lead again, but Daniel Clifford kept the difference at one point when he beat David-Louis Nortje 1-up.

Then North West’s Zabastian de Jager halved against Gary Daniel and team-mate Slade Pickering also squared his game against Eddie Wilken to keep North West in control. It was down to the final game between North West’s Albert Britz and Christiaan de Beer.

“At this stage, we had a 6 – 5 lead, but we already won the title on game points,” explained North West manager Leon Bevan.

“Albert had a putt to win his game, but we decided to concede the putt. Christiaan made his to win the game and we drew 6-all with Mpumalanga.

“This championship has a spirit of fierce competition, but it is also a great demonstration of sportsmanship and friendship. We conceded the game to honour the spirit in which championship is played.”

Moore finished the week undefeated and took the Most Valuable Player’s list, while Pickering finished second. Krugel and De Jager shared fifth with Lauritz Loubser from Boland, while the balance of the team all tied for 11th.

“Naithen was a huge banker for us this week and Slade was equally impressive, but if you look at the MVP list, you can see how the whole team pulled together for each other,” Bevan said. “Everyone covered everyone else and that commitment was our recipe for success.”

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 North West (4, 3, 1, 0, 7, 33.0)
T2 Mpumalanga (4, 2, 1, 1, 5, 25.5)
T2 Boland (4, 2, 1, 1, 5, 25.5)
4 Ekurhuleni (4, 1, 1, 2, 3, 18.0)
5 Free State (4, 0, 0, 4, 0, 18.0)

PHOTO – 2016 SA Country Districts A-Section winners North West; credit SAGA
Back, from left to right: David Nortje,Renaldo Schoenfeld,Naithen Moore, Johan Krugel,Zabastiaan de Jager, Albert Britz , Leon Bevan
Front: Tiaan Maree (left) and Slade Pickering (right)

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