President’s Men blazes trail at Challenge Cup

Gauteng North was in blistering form, Central Gauteng got their groove on, but it was the President’s Team that delivered the most stunning blow on day two of the 2016 Challenge Cup at Parkview Golf Club on Tuesday.

The eight-man side – comprising members of the Golf RSA National Squad, the SA Golf Development Board and the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation – proved unstoppable as they shook off the underdog tag in fabulous fashion to beat the SA Universities team (USSA) 8 – 4.

Andre van Zyl and Phillip Swanepoel put USSA ahead again when they triumphed 2 & 1, but Siyanda Mwandla from KwaZulu-Natal partnered Karabo Mokoena from Central Gauteng to a 2 & 1 result to send the teams tied at 2-all into the Singles.

“After they led the SAGA Juniors 2.5 – 1.5 in the first round Foursomes, the team were gutted when they ended up losing 8 – 4,” said the President’s Team manager, SAGA Acting Vice President Naadir Agherdien.

“They promised to give today’s match everything they had and once they had the draw against USSA in the Foursomes, they rallied like champions to get us the victory.”

Mokoena reeled in Ryan Lane with an eagle and four birdies to win 6 & 4 and set the President’s Team on a winning course.

Minnie from Ekurhuleni notched 10 birdies on his way to a 4 & 3 result against Luke Jerling and Mwandla knocked out Phillip Swanepoel 3 & 1 to take their tally to 5 – 2.

USSA’s Marco Loubser defeated Roux 4 & 3 and Mansfield won 3 & 2 against Neswill Croy to narrow the deficit to just one point.

However, after Hilmi Mallick and Chandler Shaw lost their Foursomes, they vowed to make amends and the 16-year-olds delivered. Mallick from Western Province defeated Andre van Zyl 3 & 2 and Central Gauteng’s Shaw downed Andrew Plint 1-up to put the President’s Team in the driver’s seat.

“Then Franklin Manchest from Southern Cape put the cherry on top when he beat USSA’s number one, Andrew van der Knaap, 1-Up in the last game,” Agherdien said.

“The President’s Team has always come into this teams tournament as the underdogs, but today, these players really showed character, resolve, determination and heart. They have all excelled individually on the national circuit over the last year, but today they played for each other and they came together as a team.

“This victory will boost their self-belief and I hope it the other teams take heed, because this year the President’s Team means business.”

Meanwhile Central Gauteng recovered from their first round loss to Gauteng North and handed the SAGA Juniors an 8 – 4 drubbing, while Gauteng North whipped Western Province 10.5 – 1.5 to cement their position at the top of the log.


Click HERE to view the SECOND ROUND LOG

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

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