SAGA Juniors clinch Challenge Cup victory

The final outcome of the 2015 Challenge Cup Teams Tournament was poised on a knife’s edge, but when the last putt dropped at Milnerton Golf Club on Friday, the South African Golf Association’s Junior Team were crowned the champions.

Twelve months after Central Gauteng won the final game in the final round at Cullinan Golf Club to edge out the SAGA Juniors for victory, the country’s rising stars reached the winner’s circle.

On a day of high drama, the defending champions defeated the SAGA Juniors 8.5 – 3.5, while the South African Universities Team (USSA) whipped Western Province 8 – 4 and Gauteng North beat the Presidents Team 7 – 5.

At the end of a long and challenging week, five teams were tied on six points, but the SAGA Juniors had done just enough to clinch the tournament by one game.

“Near the end of the final round, it really didn’t look good for us, but never underestimate the hunger of these young players,” said SAGA Golf Integration Manager, Eden Thompson.

“Luke Mayo birdied the 18th hole to beat Jason Viljoen 1-up to secure an important point for the team and then Herman Loubser hit it close for birdie at the 18th. His opponent, Rupert Kaminski, conceded the putt and the pair halved the game.

“That gave us six points and 34 games points, and we edged out USSA by one game. The guys were pretty disappointed after losing to Province in the first round and I am incredibly proud of the way they rallied to accumulate enough games to secure this victory.”

The SAGA Juniors defeated the Presidents Team 8.5 – 3.5 on day two, handed Gauteng North a 9 – 3 drubbing on day three and vaulted to the top of the standings on day four after beating USSA 7.5 – 4.5.

“The team really wanted to finish the week on a high note with a victory against Central Gauteng, but things didn’t go their way and all credit to Central Gauteng, who really brought everything to the final round match,” Thompson said.

“The SAGA Juniors team shared friendship and a common goal this week and they did incredibly well as a team, and individuals, to win this incredibly tightly-fought contest.”

USSA’s eight-man team from TuksSport Golf Academy slotted into a well-deserved second place with 33 game points, while Gauteng North celebrated third place in the standings with 32.5 game points.

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 SAGA Juniors (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 34.0)
2 USSA (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 33.0)
3 Gauteng North (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 32.5)
4 Central Gauteng (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 31.5)
5 Western Province (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 27.0)
6 Presidents Team (5, 0, 0, 5, 0, 22.0)

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

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