Tuks celebrate USSA Championship triumph
The University of Pretoria lifted the USSA Championship title on Friday with an unparalleled performance in the A-Division at the Koro Creek Country Estate in Limpopo.
Hunting their fourth victory in five years, the eight-man Tuks team began their title hunt with an unassailable 21-stroke victory in the 36-hole stroke play qualifier on Tuesday.
Heading the A-Division contending for the prestigious University Sport South Africa title, the side extended their winning march by defeating Centurion Academy A 6.5 – 2.5 in the first round and scoring a decisive 7-2 victory over the Golf School of Excellence – Johannesburg (TSGE-Jhb) in Thursday’s second round.
Although the second round triumph effectively sealed their victory under the count out format of this year’s championship and the final round match up against Stellenbosch University A would be a mere formality, the 2008, 2009 and 2011 champions were determined to keep their undefeated record intact.
In another solid display of guts, perseverance and team work, the side defeated Maties A 6.5 – 2.5 in their final round robin match to seal their fourth victory in five years. Tuks topped the final log with nine points, three points clear of The Golf School of Excellence – Johannesburg in second place.
Tuksgolf Club and Academies head coach and technical director Llewellyn van Leeuwen said the side pulled together on a tough day to beat Maties
“It was very windy and extremely cold in today’s final round, which made it tough on both teams,” he said. “The Maties players put up a brave fight, but although the players knew they had the title in the bag, they still came out guns blazing.
“The players were determined to win all their matches and again, as they have done from the first day, pulled through with shear guts and determination. I don’t think Tuks has ever fielded such a strong team in this championship. The guys really played to their potential and lived up to everyone’s expectation of the team.
“We are also really proud of Werner van Niekerk, for winning the Most Valuable Player award.”
University Sport South Africa (USSA) chairman, Johan Steyn, said the standard in this year’s championship was extremely high through the A- to D-Divisions.
“Judging by the standard of golf on display this week, student golf it is definitely heading in the right direction,” Steyn said. “We now have to focus all our efforts to secure funding for the University Sport South Africa team that will represent South Africa at the World Universities Championship next June. “The World Universities Championship is the flagship tournament on the international university circuit and it is imperative that we give the USSA team the chance to compete on that stage and gain the invaluable experience that comes from competing against the best in the world.”
1 University of Pretoria 9 points (20 games count)
2 The Golf School of Excellence – Johannesburg 6 points (12 games count)
3 Centurion Academy A 3 points (12.5 games count)
4 University of Stellenbosch A 0 points (9.5 games count)
1 Central University of Technology A 6 points (13.5 games count)
2 North West University 6 points (15 games count)
3 University of Johannesburg 3 points (12.5 games count)
4 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University 3 points (12.5 games count)
1 The Golf School of Excellence – Pretoria 9 points (16.5 games count)
2 Centurion Academy B 4 points (12.5 games count)
3 Varsity College A 2 points (13 games count)
4 Varsity College B 1 point (11.5 games count)
1 Central University of Technology B 9 points (18.5 games count)
2 University of Stellenbosch B 6 points (18.5 games count)
3 University of Cape Town 1 point (10 games count)
4 Rhodes University 1 point (7 games count)
FINAL ROUND RESULTS
University of Pretoria beat University of Stellenbosch 6.5 – 2.5
The Golf School of Excellence JHB beat Centurion Academy A 5 – 4
Central University of Technology beat University of Johannesburg 5 – 4
North West University beat Nelson Mandela University of Technology 5 – 4
Centurion Academy B beat Varsity College A 5.5 – 3.5
The Golf School School of Excellence PTA beat Varsity College B 5 – 4
Cape Peninsula University of Technology beat University of Stellenbosch B 6 – 3
Rhodes University halved University of Cape Town 4.5 – 4.5
MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS
A-Division – Werner van Niekerk (University of Pretoria)
B-Division – S Erasmus (North West University)
C-Division – L van Rooyen (The Golf School of Excellence – Pretoria)
D-Division – G Hough Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
PHOTO CAPTION – The victorious University of Pretoria team, winners of the 2013 USSA Championship at Koro Creek Country Estate.
From left to right (back): From left to right: (back) Werner van Niekerk, Andrew van der Knaap, Regard Neethling, Llewellyn van Leeuwen (coach), Ryan Lane, Matthew Spacey, Marko Loubser.
Left to right front: Emile Steinmann (manager), Tertius van den Berg (captain), Werner Ferreira.