NWU and Tuks showdown at USSA Champs

Germany and Argentina will serve as inspiration for the North West University team when they face off against the University of Pretoria in the USSA (University Sport South Africa) Championship final at Koro Creek Golf Estate on Friday.

NWU Pukke booked their berth with 4 – 2 victory against Tuks 2, while Tuks 1 defeated The Golf School of Excellence Johannesburg in a play-off to make their seventh consecutive final.

Although Tuks has a proud record in the recent history in this national championship, NWU Pukke manager Bernard Hattingh is confident that his charges can derail the defending champion’s campaign.

“I think Germany and Argentina showed this week with superb performances at the FIFA World Cup that you should never underestimate the underdog,” Hattingh said.

“Tuks won this in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013 and finished second in 2010 and 2012. They are the clear favourites, and we are wearing the underdog tag.

But our team showed their mettle when they beat this year’s Stroke Play Team champions in the semi-final and they are primed to do battle against Tuks on Friday.”

Both teams scored a point in the foursomes, but NWU Pukke skipper Francois Kruger claimed first blood in the singles when he knocked out Ryan Lane 4&3. However, Ryan Wille handed Rikus Vermooten a 5&3 drubbing to level scores.

“The match was a lot tighter than the score line suggests,” said Kruger. “It came down to Wynand Potgieter and Eben Zietsman to win it for us.

“Wynand birdied four of five holes on the back nine to pull ahead and claimed his match against Zabastiaan de Jager 2&1. Eben hit a great shot from 180 meters out to three-feet at the 17th and made birdie to go 1-up and sealed the victory for us with a two-foot birdie at the 18th.

“I think we were a little daunted before the match, but now we don’t have any qualms about playing Tuks 1 in the final. The confidence is there and we are geared for the fight.”

Tuks 1 and TGSE Johannesburg also finished the foursomes at stalemate.

Stephen Morrison put Tuks 1 in front with a 5&4 win over Allan Jones, but Tyrone Gibb squared the match when he downed Marco Loubser 2&1.

TGSE’s Ludovic Bax dismissed Andrew van der Knaap 1-up, but rookie Reinardt Blaauw boxed a left to right slider from eight foot to win 1-up and take the match into overtime.

“It was the most insane match,” said Tuks 1 manager, Llewellyn van Leeuwen.

“With two holes to go, we looked home and dry, but TSGE had other ideas. They were knocking in putts from everywhere at the 16th and 17th. Reinardt saved the day to take us into a play-off and Andrew eagled the first extra hole to win the match after a marathon tusslea.”

In the B-Flight, Cape Peninsula University of Technology 1 scored a 3.5 – 2.5 victory to book their spot in the final and will come up against The Golf School of Excellence Pretoria, who claimed a 4 – 2 win over Centurion Academy 2.

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

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