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Central Gauteng on track for 29th title

Southern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are in hot pursuit of Central Gauteng, who kept their bid for a record 29th title alive on Tuesday’s second day of the South African Inter-Provincial Tournament, sponsored by Tempest Car Hire.

Having drawn their first round match against Gauteng North, KwaZulu-Natal faced Ekurhuleni in the second round at Oubaai Golf Club.

After the foursomes ended in a 2-all draw, KwaZulu-Natal skipper Gavin Sole called on his troops to step it up as the weather turned nasty at the Ernie Els Signature Course. Braving the sweeping rain and icy temperatures, his charges responded with a fantastic comeback in the singles to win 7-5.

The victory moved KwaZulu-Natal to third in the log on three points.

The men in black are just one point shy of Central Gauteng, who top the standings after mowing down Gauteng North 8.5-3.5, while Southern Cape sits in second spot after beating Free State 7.5-4.5.

Luke Mayo put KwaZulu-Natal on the attack with a 7 & 6 result. Sole won 6 & 4 and 2018 SA Mid-Amateur champion Derek Scullard made it five points with a 4 & 3 win.

Jordan Burnand, Ryan van Velzen and Casey Jarvis rallied for Ekurhuleni, but Greg McKay took down Yurav Premlall 3 & 1 and GolfRSA National Squad member Malcolm Mitchell pushed the boat home for KwaZulu-Natal when he downed No1 Aneurin Gounden 2-up.

‘We had a rude wake-up call in the first round,’ said Eisenhower Trophy player Mitchell.

‘We were 4-up on Gauteng North after the foursomes and we nearly lost the game. Gavin didn’t have to say much to get us fired up. We knew we had to take the fight to Ekurhuleni. We still have some tough matches coming up, but we’ve put ourselves back in the title fight.’

Taking a 2.5-1.5 lead into the singles, reigning Junior Open champion Martin Vorster claimed first blood for Southern Cape with a resounding 7 & 6 result.

Hans-Jurie Human won 6 & 5, Caylum Boon won 6 & 4 and new cap Carlo Heunis punched well above his weight again to win 5 & 4.

GolfRSA National Squad player Therion Nel, Franco Froneman and veteran Josef Fourie hit back for Free State, but it was too little, too late. Christo Lamprecht drove the nail into Free State’s coffin when he took out South Africa’s number one ranked Wilco Nienaber 5 & 4.

Southern Cape are two-for-two in this year’s tournament, but the host union will need to up their games count. Central Gauteng have 18 games points in hand, with Southern Cape still 3.5 behind.

Meanwhile Gauteng North came out guns blazing in the foursomes against Central Gauteng.

The Daisies led 2.5-1.5, but their lead took a major hammering as Central’s new caps went into full assault mode in the singles. Sam McKenzie led the attack for the rookies with a 5 & 4 win and he was backed up by Cole Stevens, Keelan van Wyk, Reece Haikney, Karabo Mokoena, Sam McKenzie and Ruan Botha, who racked up a further 5 points.

Captain Ryan Dreyer put the final point on their card with a 4 & 2 result, but Christopher van der Merwe denied the Lions a clean sweep when he beat Darin de Smidt 3 & 2.

The defending champions will be hoping for more of the same when they face Ekurhuleni in round three on Wednesday. Southern Cape tackle KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng North play Free State.

A SECTION RESULTS
ROUND 2
KwaZulu-Natal 7 Ekurhuleni 5
Southern Cape 7.5 Free State 4.5
Central Gauteng 8.5 Gauteng North 3.5

A SECTION LOG
(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Central Gauteng (2, 2, 0, 0, 4, 18)
2 Southern Cape (2, 2, 0, 0, 4, 14.5)
3 KwaZulu Natal (2, 1, 1, 0, 3, 13)
4 Gauteng North (2, 0, 1, 1, 1, 9.5)
5 Ekurhuleni (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 10)
6 Free State (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 7)

Meanwhile, Western Province continued their rampage to pull well clear in the B Section battle for promotion.

Western Province took down Eastern Province 9-3 and handed Boland an 8-4 drubbing in their opening gambit and the side didn’t spare Limpopo and Border in the second round at the Ernie Els Signature Course.

Limpopo went down 11-1 and Province demolished Border 10.5-1.5 to extend their lead in the standings to four points.

Boland banked two points after beating Eastern Province 7.5-4.5 in round one and gained two more with a resounding 10.5-1.5 victory over North West to take second spot in the log.

Border salvaged two points with a 7-5 result against Limpopo in the final match.

Western Province laid the foundation for another successful day on the Southern Outeniqua Hop with clean sweeps in the foursomes against both teams.

Neswill Croy, Sam Simpson, Christian Basson, Luca Filippi, Deon Germishuys and veteran Cameron Johnston racked up six points, while Ayden Senger halved against Chuma Adonis and Tyran Snyders lost 4 & 3 to seasoned Border campaigner Ben Jonas.

Limpopo suffered much the same fate, with their only gain a victory by Vincent Olley against Senger.

‘Apart from Cameron, playing his 15th SA IPT, our side is very young, but they are a real bunch of fighters with a lot of heart,’ said Western Province manager Carl Potgieter.

‘Last year we got demoted on games points, so these guys are throwing everything they’ve got into their matches to make sure we won’t be counted out again.’

North West carried the confidence of two solid conquests in the first round into their second round clash against Boland, but the side were quickly pushed against the ropes by the 2012 champions.

Boland scored a clean sweep in the singles and LB Boshoff, Ethan Smith, Tyron Davidowitz, Phillip Swanepoel, Hennie O’Kennedy and captain Karl Ochse handed out further punishment in the singles. North West No1 Christiaan Burke gained a solitary point for his team when he knocked out Luan Boshoff 5 & 4.

The match between Border and Limpopo was decided in the singles after the two teams drew 2-all in the morning session.

Number one Oswin Schlenkrich beat Tristen Schwim 6 & 5 and Jonas defeated Cameron Nesmith 5 & 4 to give Border the early edge. Logan Roos, Nico Joubert and Handsie Diedericks added three points, while Olley, Franco Putter and Gerhard Pepler rallied to bank three points for Limpopo.

Boland and Border will have third round byes, while Western Province play Mpumalanga and Eastern Province, North West and Limpopo face off in a three-way match.

B-SECTION RESULTS
ROUND 1
Western Province 11 Limpopo 1
Western Province 10.5 Border 1.5
Boland 10.5 North West 1.5
Border 7 Limpopo 5

B SECTION LOG
(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Western Province (4, 4, 0, 0, 8, 38.5)
2 Boland (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 22)
3 North West (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 16.5)
4 Border (4, 1, 0, 3, 2, 16)
5 Mpumalanga (2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 13.5)
6 Eastern Province (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 7.5)
7 Limpopo (2, 0, 0, 2, 0, 6)

PHOTOS: Mitchell from KwaZulu-Natal in action (main photo) and Croy, by Pieter Els and Ernest Neethling


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