Southern Cape shines at SA Women’s IPT
Southern Cape gave golf fans on the Garden Route double cause for celebration just two weeks after the Men’s team marched to the winner’s enclosure in the Premier SA IPT at the Fish River Sun when the ladies clinched the B-Section title at the 56th South African Women’s Inter-Provincial Championship on Friday.
Just like Gauteng, who defended their A-Section title despite a final round loss, Southern Cape had laid the foundation for their success with convincing results in their first two scrimmages at Umhlali Country Club.
The Garden Route side mowed down Western Province B 5 – 1 in their opener and pummelled KwaZulu-Natal 5 – 1 in the second round. But the team had to bow out to Free State, who took the final match 3.5 – 2.5.
“We expected a tough final round match against Free State and it was very closely contested match, but in the end, we came up short,” said Southern Cape Ladies Golf Union president Laetitia Higgs.
“We lost one game and halved another in the foursomes and that put us on the back foot going into the singles. The girls fought valiantly, but in the end, it went Free State’s way.”
Ethel Ruthenberg whipped Zanele Mazibuko 6 & 5 to put Southern Cape back on equal footing, but Free State regained the lead when reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Match Play champion Lumien Orton downed Azelia Meichtry 3 & 1.
Captain Sandra Winter defeated Chante van Zyl 2 & 1 to give Southern Cape a glimmer of hope, but Bianca Wernich won the closely contested tussle with Sonja Bland 2 & 1 to secure the victory for Free State.
“We were determined to make the top draw of the B-Division in the qualifying round and to go on and bring the trophy home, so the reward is very, very sweet,” Higgs said.
“We worked incredibly hard in our preparation for this year’s championship, playing a lot of foursomes and match play to get our girls into a competitive frame of mind.
“We also worked with renowned sport psychologist Maretha Claassens to toughen up on the mental side. Having Sandra Winter on the team as the playing captain made a world of difference. Sandra, with all her experience as a national coach, led the team with incredible wisdom and grace and she was definitely instrumental in our victory.
“I want to congratulate all four players on an incredible job and I hope they will take the time now to enjoy this fantastic achievement.”
Free State, meanwhile, had to settle for second in the log, while KwaZulu-Natal took third after defeating Western Province B 5 – 1 in the final round.
Mpumalanga won the battle of the big guns in the bottom order of the draw when they edged out Eastern Province 3.5 – 2.5 to win the Division 2 title. North West saved their best for the final day and knocked out Limpopo by the same margin to take third in the final standings.
B-SECTION – Division 1
Southern Cape 2.5 vs Free State 3.5
KwaZulu-Natal 5 vs Western Province B 1
B-SECTION LOG – Division 1
1 Southern Cape (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 12.5)
2 Free State (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 10)
3 KwaZulu-Natal (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 9.5)
4 Western Province B (3, 0, 0, 3, 0, 4)
B-SECTION – Division 2
Eastern Province 2.5 vs Mpumalanga 3.5
Limpopo 2.5 vs North West 3.5
B-SECTION LOG – Division 2
1 Mpumalanga (3, 3, 0, 0, 6, 12)
2 Eastern Province (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 13.5)
3 North West (3, 1, 0, 2, 2, 6)
4 Limpopo (3, 0, 0, 3, 0, 4.5)
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of Womens Golf South Africa.