Southern Cape rally for SA U-19 IPT victory

Southern Cape’s youthful exuberance, grit and determination was unparalleled as they marched to victory in the South African U-19 Inter-Provincial at Worcester Golf Club on Friday.

The premier junior team championship delivered the usual mix of upsets and jostling for position, but it proved once again that even when teams look strong on paper, golf is still played on grass.

Over the first four days, the five bankers and three rookies dovetailed to perfection against defending champions Western Province, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng North and Ekurhuleni.

The final scuffle against 2013 champions Central Gauteng was always going to be a tough battle, but the Garden Route side fought valiantly and was graceful in defeat after the 7 – 5 loss.

“We knew Central Gauteng was going to come at us guns blazing and they really brought the fight to us,” said captain Jovan Rebula as the team celebrated with a series of high fives at the 18th green after the last putt dropped.

“They came at us very hard in the Singles and really deserved the victory, but I think the final score speaks volumes about our team spirit. This is an incredible achievement for the whole team.

“We’ve come close in past championships, but this week we fought like demons. I think only the past champions of this tournament can understand the incredible pride we share as a team right now.

“This was a team effort all the way and everyone deserves to take credit. Throughout the week, every player on the team had a moment where they need to step up and everyone delivered.

“I have to applaud our rookies Martin Vorster, Alan Lones and Julian Sale, who really delivered a champions’ performance. We are team that bats from one to eight; there are no superstars, the whole team contributed and that’s why we pulled it through.”

Southern Cape and Central were tied in the Foursomes, but David Meyers drew first blood for Central Gauteng when he downed Alex van Wyk 5 & 3.

Cameron Moralee levelled the score with a 4 & 3 win, but Marco Steyn won 2-up and Fritz Orren 2 & 1 to put Central ahead again. Caylum Boon won 1-up to reduce the gap, but Dylan Naidoo’s 2 & 1 victory over Rebula took Central to six points.

Keelan van Wyk and Guy Waterhouse sealed their victory when both players halved at the 18th.

Manager Roger Wessels said Southern Cape’s success was down to winning combinations and a strong team spirit.

“We worked out our Foursomes combinations to pair each rookie with an experienced player and the pairings worked to our advantage. We took a solid lead into the Singles in every match and build on the cushion.

“This team really played for each other. Our rookies were outstanding in the early games in some of the matches, taking the pressure off the top order. And vice versa, the top order stepped up and were outstanding in pulling through the crucial points to win the matches for us.”

Defending champions Western Province thumped Ekurhuleni 7 – 5 to finish second on nine points while Central Gauteng’s final round triumph boosted them to third with seven points.

KwaZulu-Natal launched a spirited assault to defeat Gauteng North 7 – 5 and tie them on six points, but the Daises clinched fourth in the standings by half a point in a games point count-out.

Meanwhile Ekurhuleni managed to avoid relegation with a lone victory against KwaZulu-Natal, which left Boland holding the wooden spoon after a winless week in Worcester.

Central Gauteng 7 – Southern Cape 5
Western Province 7 – Ekurhuleni 5
KwaZulu-Natal 7 – Gauteng North 5

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Southern Cape (6, 5, 0, 1, 10, 46.5)
2 Western Province (6, 4, 1, 1, 9, 39.0)
3 Central Gauteng (6, 3, 1, 2, 7, 40.5)
4 Gauteng North (6, 2, 2, 2, 6, 35.0)
5 KwaZulu-Natal (6, 3, 0, 3, 6, 34.5)
6 Ekurhuleni (6, 1, 1, 4, 3, 30.0)
7 Boland (6, 0, 1, 5, 1, 26.5)

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

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