Central Gauteng stay unbeaten in Oubaai | TeamSA - TeamSA

Central Gauteng stay unbeaten in Oubaai

Defending champions Central Gauteng continued to run hot in the 58th South African Inter-Provincial Tournament, sponsored by Tempest Car Hire, as cold, wet and windy weather wreaked havoc in Wednesday’s the third round at Oubaai Golf Club.

Buoyed by back-to-back wins against Free State and Gauteng North, the Lions battled bravely to defeat Ekurhuleni 7-5 and keep the top spot in the standings on six points.

Banking three points in their morning session against Ekurhuleni proved crucial to their campaign, said team manager Jaco du Plessis.

‘Conditions were brutal and the organisers were forced to suspend play at 12.50pm due to the high winds. We were up half the night with a very sick player, Keelan van Wyk, and the weather and suspension put even more pressure on the players.

‘We fought really hard in the foursomes to win three of our matches and that gave us some good momentum to take into the singles. We had three matches on the first hole when they suspended play. So when play resumed at 3.15pm, we knew that any matches not through nine holes would be halved, and the status of any singles matches that had gone through nine holes would stand as the result of the match when play was called for the day.

‘It’s always a close match between Ekurhuleni and ourselves, and I just told the guys to keep their composure. The guys did really well under the circumstances.’

South African Golf Development Board player Cole Stevens, who will head to Argentina for the Youth Olympics in two weeks, once again started Central Gauteng on the right footing in the singles. ‘Cole at the bottom did really well to get us our first win,’ said Du Plessis.

‘Keelan was just not up for the fight with his stomach bug and Reece Haikney, who was 3-up at one stage, lost to Ryan van Velzen at the last hole. Darin de Smidt was 3-down to Saul Moss, but he got us a very important halve that turned out to be crucial in the end.

‘Ryan Dreyer and Sam McKenzie went out there and played really, really solid. Sam was 3-up on Yurav Premlall and Ryan beat Brandon Gildenhuys 1-up. After Karabo Mokoena lost 1-down to Casey Jarvis, Ruan Botha, at the top of the order, was just really solid and got us the other crucial halve against Aneurin Gounden for a 7-5 win.

‘It was a really tough day out there for everyone and conditions were about as extreme as I’ve experienced at an inter-provincial. We are pretty stoked with the win. If they offered us 4-all after the foursomes, we would have taken it.

‘We’re going in unchanged tomorrow against KwaZulu-Natal. We know the type of side that they are and we won’t take anything for granted. They have quality players and they are a quality team. We will continue to do what we’ve done for the last three days, playing the percentages and trying to get the better of our opponents.’

Southern Cape, meanwhile, lost two matches and halved two to start the singles on the back foot, but the host union rallied in the singles to draw 6-all with KwaZulu-Natal. The Garden Route side held on the second spot in the log on five points.

KwaZulu-Natal are third on four points, while Gauteng North beat Free State 8.5-3.5 to move to fourth on three points. The Daisies will tussle with Southern Cape and Ekurhuleni will take on Free State in Thursday’s fourth round.

Central Gauteng 7.0 Ekurhuleni 5.0
Southern Cape 6.0 KwaZulu-Natal 6.0
Gauteng North 8.5 Free State 3.5

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Central Gauteng (3, 3, 0, 0, 6, 25)
2 Southern Cape (3, 2, 1, 0, 5, 20.5)
3 KwaZulu-Natal (3, 1, 2, 0, 4, 19)
4 Gauteng North (3, 1, 1, 1, 3, 18)
5 Ekurhuleni (3, 0, 0, 3, 0, 15)
6 Free State (3, 0, 0, 3, 0, 10.5)



B Section action on Wednesday saw a fifth straight victory which cemented Western Province as the frontrunner in this year’s battle for promotion.

Western Province made a fast start in the foursomes to lead Mpumalanga 3-1 and after play resumed, drove home a 7.5-4.5 victory.

Targeting a return to the A-Section after last year’s relegation, Western Province are in a strong position at the top of the log with 10 points.

North West beat Limpopo 9-3 and drew 6-all with Eastern Province to overtake Boland for second, but the side lag three points behind Western Province.

‘The guys acquitted themselves brilliantly in very, very tough conditions,’ said Western Province manager Carl Potgieter. ‘The foursomes went very well for us again, and laid a good foundation for us to build on and we knew we only needed 3.5 points to secure the win.

‘We got relegated last year on games count, so building our games points tally has been a big priority this week. The youngsters really came to the fore again.

‘Ayden Senger played some great golf to get his first singles win of the week. Sam Simpson and Tyran Snyders both played extremely well to win and Neswill Croy continued to impress. He has been a real fighter, batting at No8 and getting us that first important point in the singles in every match. Luca Filippi halved against Andre van Heerden to take us to 7.5 points.

‘So far, every player on the team has stood up to be counted and we will bring that same spirit to the final round. We’re not counting our chickens just yet. It’s still business as usual.

‘Depending on what the weather does tomorrow, we might go to the beach or the movies after some time on the range. By tomorrow night we’ll know what we need to do to win and we’ll strategise accordingly. We’re doing it for the team and the Disa.’

Boland, joint champions with Western Province in 2012, sat out ‘Hurricane Hilda’ at Dutton’s Cove in Herolds Bay on their day off, but kept a close eye on the action at Oubaai.

The only team with an outside chance of beating Western Province for the coveted promotion, Boland must beat Mpumalanga and Limpopo with clean sweeps in their three-way bout on Thursday to bank eight points in the tournament and boost their games points tally.

Not only will they need another decisive victory against Border in the final round to make it happen, but North West have to stop the Western Province Express on Friday, as well.

The odds are against them, but in match play, stranger things have happened.

Western Province 7.5 Mpumalanga 4.5
Eastern Province 6.0 North West 6.0
Eastern Province 8.5 Limpopo 3.5
North West 9.0 Limpopo 3.0

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Western Province (5, 5, 0, 0, 10, 46)
2 North West (5, 3, 1, 1, 7, 31.5)
3 Boland (3, 2, 0, 1, 4, 22)
4 Eastern Province (4, 1, 1, 2, 3, 22)
5 Mpumalanga (3, 1, 0, 2, 2, 18)
6 Border (4, 1, 0, 3, 2, 16)
7 Limpopo (4, 0, 0, 4, 0, 12.5)

PHOTOS: Youth Olympics-bound Stevens (main picture) and Senger, by Pieter Els and Ernest Blignault

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