Western Province romp to Challenge IPT glory

Western Province marched to victory with a perfect record in the 2024 Challenge Inter-provincial at Metropolitan Golf Club in Cape Town; credit GolfRSA

10 April 2024 – Western Province were in complete control as they marched to victory with a perfect record in the 2024 GolfRSA Challenge Inter-provincial at Metropolitan Golf Club in Cape Town.

The local favourites reaped the rewards of home comforts as they barely put a foot wrong, and their collective effort led to a resounding success as the only side to go through the three matches unbeaten.

It was a display built on a team effort and not surprisingly, the side dominated the leading points scored at the end of the week.

Andries van der Vyver led the way with six points, backed up by teammates Dan Copeman and Gideon van der Vyver, who shared second with five points. The skipper Travis Proctor and Henru Walters ended their campaign with 4.5 points each as they helped put an emphatic blue and white stamp all over the event.

“We had a team this year that was very new to the Open age group,” said WP team manager John Laurie.

“Our team had four players aged 20 or younger and only three players had played this specific Challenge IPT before. We were led by a very calm and experienced captain in Travis Procter. The team looked up to him and really respected him and this really paved the way for a successful week. “

Laurie made a bold move by sending out the two youngest players out first in the singles in every match.

“Henru is just 15 and Andries is 17, but they really did an amazing job, with Andries taking the Most Valuable Player honours for the tournament. These two youngsters were incredible,” Laurie said.

Western Province routed Gauteng North in the second round and almost scored a clean sweep against Ekurhuleni in the final round, wining the match 11 – 1, but Laurie believes the groundwork for their success was laid with a hard-fought win against Central Gauteng in the opening round.

“WP have traditionally struggled with foursomes and it showed its ugly head on day one against Central Gauteng. But this team is so special; they never surrendered and made an incredible comeback to win 7 – 5,” he explained.

Brothers Andries and Gideon van der Vyver during the 2024 Challenge Inter-provincial at Metropolitan Golf Club in Cape Town; credit GolfRSA

“A big turning point on the first day was when the two brothers, Gideon and Andries van der Vyver, turned their foursomes game on its head. They were four down with eight holes to play and they won their game 1-up. They were truly magical and their performance put fire in the bellies of the rest of the team.

“The 6-2 win in singles rarely happens and it got the boys pumped up for the rest of the week. After that singles performance against the Lions, they really believed in themselves and that nobody could stand in their way.”

Gauteng North made a promising start, punishing Ekurhuleni 9.5 – 2.5 in the opening round, but their title hopes were dashed by the home-side in the second round. However, the Daisies redeemed themselves on the final day and pulled off a 7.5 – 4.5 win against Central Gauteng to finish second overall.

Wiehan van der Walt and Dian Kruger amassed four points each top the rankings for Gauteng North, while Josh de Aguiar was the standout for Central Gauteng, the only side to come close to pushing the champions-in-waiting to the edge. De Aguiar managed to bank 4.5 points for the week, and he was the only player in the top six not in the winning team.

At the bottom of the leaderboard, it was Ekhurleni who propped up the table after being unable to claim a match win during their time in the Mother City.

Challenge IPT Final Log

Position Team (Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Game points)
1 Western Province (3-3-0-0-6-26.5)
2 Gauteng North (3-2-0-1-4-20.5)
3 Central Gauteng (3-1-0-2-2-18.5)
4 Ekurhuleni (3-0-0-3-0-6.5)

Most Valued Player Leaderboard (top 10)
Total Points – Player (Team – Foursomes – Singles)
6 Andries van der Vyver (Western Province 3 – 3)
5 Dan Copeman (Western Province 2 – 3)
5 Gideon van der Vyver (Western Province 3 – 2)
4.5 Travis Proctor (Western Province 2 – 2.5)
4.5 Henru Walters (Western Province 2 – 2.5)
4.5 Josh de Aguiar (Central Gauteng 2 – 2.5)
4 Zack Miller (Western Province 2 – 2)
4 Wiehan van der Walt (Gauteng North 1 – 3)
4 Dian Kruger (Gauteng North 1.5 – 2.5)
4 Jacques van der Merwe (Central Gauteng 3 – 1)