Three-way tussle for glory at SA IPT

There will be a three-way fight for glory in the 56th South African Inter-Provincial after a brutal south-westerly wind immobilised Gauteng North and Central Gauteng in Thursday’s fourth round Fish River Sun Country Club.

Southern Cape and Western Province reigned supreme and hammered out huge victories, while Ekurhuleni showed some brilliant skills in the squall against Boland.

Southern Cape mowed down Central Gauteng 9 – 3 and Western Province thumped Gauteng North by the same number to end the Daisies’ unbeaten run in this year’s championship. Ekurhuleni overturned a 1 – 3 deficit after the foursomes to force Boland into a 6-all draw.

With Southern Cape and Gauteng North tied with six points and Ekurhuleni a further point adrift, the games points gathered on Thursday could become the deciding factor if the wind puts in another appearance on Friday.

Southern Cape will start the final round with 30 games points in hand and five games points more than their opponents Gauteng North, while Ekurhuleni will face off against Central Gauteng with 24 games points in the bag.

“It’s tight at the top and it’s all to play for,” said Southern Cape manager Billy Valentyn. “All three teams are going to go all out for the victory, no-one is going to show any mercy and I predict a fight to the bitter end.”

Southern Cape took a 3 – 1 lead into the singles and never took their foot off the pedal when the wind showed up.

Andre Nel pummelled Kyle Barker 9 & 8 to take first blood, Jade Buitendag took them to five when he beat David McIntyre 5 & 3 and rookies Caylum Boon and Hans-Jurie Human added two more points before skipper Nicholas Mitchell beat number one Darin de Smidt 1-up to seal their victory.

Central Gauteng’s Tyrone Gibb and Ryan Dreyer both halved and David Muller won 1-up for the defending champions.

“We have great respect for Central and we knew we would have a helluva match on our hands,” said manager Billy Valentyn. “Andre set the tone for us with his strong performance and that fired up the rookies, who produced under incredible pressure.

“Our other first-timer Brandon Cloete did really well against a tough veteran like Ryan to halve and Nicholas played another captain’s innings. Our vice-cap Ivan Williams was solid as always to square off against Tyrone and Henk fought like a demon, but lost the game to David at the last hole. All eight guys played like number ones and that’s what makes this team so strong.”

Gauteng North were hunting a fourth successive win and started solidly with a draw in the foursomes, but Luca Filippi put Western Province on the attack when he took out Philip Kruse 8 & 6.

Carlo O’Reilly downed Dylan Kok 5 & 4 and Elton James knocked out Richard Joubert to keep the momentum going. Paul Colditz, Altin van der Merwe and Luke Trocado piled on the rest of the points, but Andrew van der Knaap and Ruan Conradie rescued the Daisies when they halved against Gerlou Roux and Michael Sherriff respectively.

“We were well and truly beaten by the better team today, but we will put this loss behind us and start fresh against Southern Cape on Friday,” said Gauteng North manager Johan Struwig. “The key will be not to dwell on the loss, but rather to focus on what we need to do right in the final round.”

Meanwhile Boland stretched a three point lead to five when Cedric Rooi and Pierre de Villiers won the first two singles, but then Ekurhuleni’s young guns stood up to be counted.

Chris van Tonder claimed their first scalp when he downed Keelan Africa 6 & 5, junior Jayden Schaper beat Christiaan Basson 4 & 3 to shorten the gap and Paul Boshoff downed Garrick Higgo 2 & 1 to put Ekurhuleni back in the mix.

Kyle McClatchie beat Herman Loubser 2-up, Angus Ellis-Cole defeated Karl Ochse 1-up and Dylan Mostert squared the match when he halved with Neswill Croy.

Central Gauteng 3 – Southern Cape 9
Western Province 9 – Gauteng North 3
Ekurhuleni 6 – Boland 6

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Southern Cape (4, 3, 0, 1, 6, 30)
2 Gauteng North (4, 3, 0, 1, 6, 25)
3 Ekurhuleni (4, 2, 1, 1, 5, 24)
4 Central Gauteng (4, 1, 1, 2, 3, 20.5)
5 Western Province (4, 1, 0, 3, 2, 25)
6 Boland (4, 0, 2, 2, 2, 19.5)

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

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