Showdown looms at SA U-19 IPT

While the battle for supremacy in the A-Division has gone the way of Southern Cape, the promotion battle in the B-Section at the South African U-19 Inter-Provincial is heading for an epic battle after Mpumalanga narrowed the gap on log leaders Free State in Thursday’s fourth round at Worcester Golf Club.

Free State won five matches on the trot to surge to the top of the standings on 10 points, but Mpumalanga reduces the gap to two points after handing Northern Cape a 9 – 3 drubbing and edging out North West 6.5 – 5.5.

“Free State have 48.5 games points after the two huge victories and we only have 37.5, so technically it’s going to be very tough to beat them, but stranger things have happened,” said Mpumalanga manager Jan Jacobs.

“Last year we were only playing to avoid the wooden spoon. This year we came to Worcester on a mission and look, we got very, very close. The team spirit has been incredible and they players are pumped after the victories today, especially holding off North West.

“Our players have given their heart and soul this week and they are going to do it one more time against Limpopo on Friday.”

Mpumalanga led Northern Cape 4 – 0 in the Foursomes, but started the Singles with a 2.5 – 1.5 lead over Northern West.

Brandon Esterhuizen, Banele Mavuso and Schalk Grobler boosted their tally, while Ian Jacobs and Brandon Geere added the valuable half points to secure the win against North West.

Number eight Esterhuizen won 7 & 6 to set the tone in the Singles against Northern Cape and Mavuso, Jacobs, Grobler and Geere boosted their score to nine points.

Meanwhile North West defeated Northern Cape, but this was a much tighter contest.

Northern Cape was 3 – 1 down in the Foursomes, but Arno Esterhuysen, NJ van der Walt, Martin van Jaarsveld and Joshua Edwards reduce the deficit.

It was too little, too late though, as Patrick Ntoagae, Andre van Dyk, Tiaan Maree and Slade Pickering ensured a 7 – 5 victory for North West.

In the final match, Eastern Province made a solid start to lead Border 3.5 – 1.5 and whipped their neighbours 8.5 – 3.5 with Tiaan van der Bank, Andrew Jeffrey, Kyle de Beer, Dehan Joubert and Jacques Smit serving up the aces.

North West will play Border in the final round, while Northern Cape have volunteered to serve their bye as spotters.

“The Karoo bush around this course is absolutely penal and that really slows down the pace of play, so our players volunteered to help out,” said manager Rais Rabie.

North West 5.5 vs Mpumalanga 6.5
Mpumalanga 9 vs Northern Cape 3
North West 7.0 vs Northern Cape 5.0
Eastern Province 8.5 vs Border 3.5

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Free State (5, 5, 0, 0, 10, 48.5)
2 Mpumalanga (5, 4, 0, 1, 8, 37.5)
3 Eastern Province (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 32.5)
4 North West (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 31.0)
5 Northern Cape (6, 1, 1, 4, 3, 25.5)
6 Border (5, 1, 0, 4, 2, 17.0)
7 Limpopo (5, 0, 1, 4, 1, 24.0)

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

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