Central Gauteng began their title defence in the South African Inter-Provincial Tournament on a positive note, while Free State and Boland made a big stand in the promotion battle at Mbombela Golf Club on Monday.
It took a strong effort to overcome last year’s B-Section winners Western Province, but the Lions got the job done to join Southern Cape and Gauteng North as the early frontrunners on day one of the premier annual team event, sponsored by Tempest Car Hire.
Central Gauteng led the foursomes 2.5 – 1.5, but Western Province’s Cameron Johnston beat fellow mid-amateur Ryan Dreyer in the singles to level the scores.
Then Samual Mckenzie, Kian Rose, Steven le Roux and Wendell Bossenger took control back for Central Gauteng and new cap Shaun Jones ensured a 7 – 5 result when he halved against Kyran Hawkins.
“At this level there are no easy matches,” said manager Andy Truluck. “Province got promoted last year and we knew they would come at us hard. All the games were pretty tight, but our guys put their hands and kept fighting. There are still a lot of golf to be played, but we are pleased to have crossed the first hurdle.”
Southern Cape and Ekurhuleni were tied 2-all after the morning session, but Jordan Burnand’s 8 & 7 captain’s innings put Ekurhuleni on the attack.
Jayden Schaper took out Southern Cape number one Martin Vorster 5 & 4 and Brandon Gildenhuys, Ryan van Velzen, Aneurin Gounden and Casey Jarvis further boosted their tally. Halves from Yurav Premlall and Vaughn van Deventer sealed the 8 – 4 win.
The ‘comeback of the day’ honour went to Gauteng North, who rallied from 3.5 – 1.5 down to defeat KwaZulu-Natal 7 – 5.
KwaZulu-Natal was only able to gain a single point from number one Greg McKay’s 3 & 2 win against Werner Deyzel as Armand van Dyk, Andrew Williamson, Jacques van Tonder, Nicholas Souranis, Francois van der Walt and Christiaan Maas piled on the points for the Daisies. Stals Swart clinched the win when he squared his game against Jonothan Broomhead.
Southbroom stalwart Gavin Sole is once again the captain of the KwaZulu-Natal team, which includes McKay, Jason Broomhead, Jonothan Broomhead, Jason Gilliver, Tom Lovett, Siyanda Mwandla and Derek Scullard. Margate Country Club legend Ivan Curlewis is the team manager.
Central Gauteng will face KwaZulu-Natal on day two, while Southern Cape clash with Western Province and Gauteng North take on neighbours Ekurhuleni.
In the B-Section openers, Free State and Boland bellowed their intentions with decisive victories.
Free State dominated the foursomes and extended their 3 – 1 lead over Border with five single wins.
Skipper Heindrich Erasmus halved his game to seal a commanding 8.5 – 3.5 victory.
“We have a lot of young blood on the team and they really made a statement for us today,” said Lourens. “Christiaan Burke at number one did a great job to win 5 & 4 and Jan Carel Rossouw kept the momentum going with his 4 & 2 win. Franco Froneman, Mojalefa Xaba and Carlos Laranja all had really tight matches, but they dug in their heels and pulled it through for the team.”
Free State also dished up one of the highlights of the day.
“Carlos and I played the foursomes together, and at the 12th hole – our third – he hit the tee shot. I had 103 metres to the pin and holed out for eagle. During the singles, Carlos hit the same ball to 104 metres and also holed out. We will definitely be putting some money on the number 3 this week.”
Boland, meanwhile, scored a clean sweep in the foursomes and routed host union Mpumalanga 8 – 4 with singles wins from Aidon Willemse, Jurie Mostert and Keagan Thomas and halves from Phillip Swanepoel and Meyer Pauw.
The match between Eastern Province and North West went right down the wire.
The foursomes ended 2-all and 5 & 4 wins from Beyers Smith from North West and Eastern Province’s Kyle de Beer kept the match on a knife’s edge.
Then Johan Krugel, Riaan Swart and Liam van Deventer reeled in 3 points to swing the momentum in North West’s favour and Wade Jacobs made sure of a 6.5 – 5.5 win when he halved against Altin van der Merwe.
In Tuesday’s second round, the host union will try to get their campaign back on track against Eastern Province, Border go toe-to-toe with Boland and Free State will go head to head with North West.
A-SECTION DAY 1 RESULTS
Central Gauteng 7 vs Western Province 5
Ekurhuleni 8 vs Southern Cape 4
Gauteng North 7 vs KwaZulu-Natal 5
A-SECTION LOG DAY 1
1 Ekurhuleni (1, 1, 0, 0, 2, 8)
T2 Central Gauteng (1, 1, 0, 0, 2, 7)
T2 Gauteng North (1, 1, 0, 0, 2, 7)
T4 Kwazulu Natal (1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 5)
T4 Western Province (1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 5)
6 Southern Cape (1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 4)
B-SECTION RESULTS – DAY 1
Free State 8.5 vs Border 3.5
Boland 8 vs Mpumalanga 4
North West 6.5 vs Eastern Province 5.5
B-SECTION LOG DAY 1
1 Free State (1, 1, 0, 0, 2, 8.5)
2 Boland (1, 1, 0, 0, 2, 8)
3 North West (1, 1, 0, 0, 2, 6.5)
4 Eastern Province (1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 5.5)
5 Mpumalanga (1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 4)
6 Border (1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 3.5)