WP, Gauteng and Mpumalanga sizzle at SA Mid-Am IPT

Western Province and North West forced defending champions KwaZulu-Natal on the back foot in the opening round of the South African Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial, while Central Gauteng took two scalps and Mpumalanga got their promotion campaign off to a flying start at Rustenburg Golf Club on Monday.

Western Province claimed a tidy 7 – 5 victory over KwaZulu-Natal and edged out the hosts 8 – 4 to go two-for-two on day one while Central Gauteng followed suit against 2014 champions Ekurhuleni and Gauteng North.

Province and KZN were tied 2-all after the foursomes, but Riaan Lewis, Stefan Blommaert, Cameron Johnston, Elton James and Werner Theart earned the Province their first point.

Lewis also stretched a 3 – 1 foursomes lead over North West to 4 – 1 when he defeated Patrick Sefodi 6 & 5 and Blommaert, Johnston, Theart and Weyers Janse van Rensburg piled on the victories to secure a second point for Province.

Neil Homann put Central Gauteng on attack in the singles against Ekurhuleni when he downed Donovan Pearce 5 & 4. Dylan Keylock, Stephen Johnston and Steve Williams tallied up the rest of their wins to yield an 8 – 4 result.

As in their match against Ekurhuleni, Central Gauteng carried a 2.5 – 1.5 foursomes lead into their opener against Gauteng North, however, they had a much tougher time on their hands to knock out the Daisies 6.5 – 5.5.

Keylock, David Muller and Shaun Stapleton scored the winning points for Central Gauteng, but Kelso Hannay, Andries Zietsman and Danie Viljoen hit back for Gauteng North.

In the end halves from Johnston and Homann sealed Central Gauteng’s double triumph.

Gustav Verster levelled the game against Homann with back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14, but Homann matched Verster on the remaining four holes to score the first half point. Johnston eagled 16 to cut Jauqo Jacobs’s lead to 1-up but the Gauteng North player bogeyed the closing hole to hand Central Gauteng another vital half point.

Following the opening gambit the arch rivals have four points each, but Western Province edged into the number spot on the log with 15 games points to Central Gauteng’s 14.5.

Gauteng North, meanwhile, rallied from the loss to Central Gauteng to beat Ekurhuleni 7 – 5 and North West whipped KwaZulu-Natal 8 – 4. With 12.5 games points in hand, Gauteng North moved to third in the log and North West fourth, a mere half a games point behind.

Eastern Province, who earned promotion with an unbeaten run at East London Golf Club last year, enjoyed a first round bye and will join the action on Tuesday when they face off in a three-way match with Gauteng North and the 2015 champions.

North West take on Central Gauteng, while Western Province and Ekurhuleni have a bye.

Mpumalanga’s eight-man side dovetailed to perfection to score a clean sweep against Limpopo and a 3 – 1 lead over Border in the foursomes.

RFJ Nel, Jan Combrink, Daniel Clifford, Brian Naidoo, Chris Zietsman, Eddie Daniel and Edward Wilken pummelled Limpopo in the singles to triumph 11 – 1.

Naidoo whipped Sean Coetzee 8 & 7 to set the side on a winning course in the singles against Border. Combrink, Clifford, Naidoo, Zietsman, Daniel and number one Gary Daniel reeled in the rest of their points and Nel halved his game against Dion Kahts for a 9.5 – 2.5 victory.

Mpumalanga slotted into the number one spot in the standings, but Free State and Boland are in close pursuit.

The match between Boland and Free State ended in a 6-all draw, but Boland edged out Free State for the second spot in the log by one games points. Boland closed out a 7.5 – 4.5 result against Southern Cape to finish with 13.5 games points and Free State finished with 12.5 games point after beating the Garden Route team 6.5 – 5.5.

Border scored two points after defeating Limpopo 7.5 – 4.5.

Northern Cape get their first taste of the action on Tuesday when they take on Limpopo and Southern Cape in a three-way match, while Free State will be hunting two points when they face off against Border.

North West 8 vs KwaZulu-Natal 4
Western Province 8 vs North West 4
Western Province 7 vs KwaZulu-Natal 5
Central Gauteng 6.5 vs Gauteng North 5.5
Central Gauteng 8 vs Ekurhuleni 4
Gauteng North 7 vs Ekurhuleni 5

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Western Province (2, 2, 0, 0, 4, 15)
2 Central Gauteng (2, 2, 0, 0, 4, 14.5)
3 Gauteng North (2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 12.5)
4 North West (2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 12)
T5 KwaZulu-Natal (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 9)
T5 Ekurhuleni (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 9)

Mpumalanga 11 vs Limpopo 1
Mpumalanga 9.5 vs Border 2.5
Free State 6.5 vs Southern Cape 5.5
Free State 6 vs Boland 6
Boland 7.5 vs Southern Cape 4.5
Border 7.5 vs Limpopo 4.5

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Mpumalanga (2, 2, 0, 0, 4, 20.5)
2 Boland (2, 1, 1, 0, 3, 13.5)
3 Free State (2, 1, 1, 0, 3, 12.5)
4 Border (2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 10)
5 Southern Cape (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 10)
6 Limpopo (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 5.5)

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

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