Province primed for SA Junior IPT title defence
Western Province manager Philip Hough is confident that his eight juniors golfers are well prepared to launch the team’s title defence when the South African Junior Interprovincial tees off at Paarl Golf Club from 10-14 December 2012.
Top SA junior Dylan Raubenheimer and the winner of the SA National Club Championships in October is backed up by former Glacier Junior Series winners Ian Snyman, Meyer Pauw, Aslam Mallick, Daniel Mantel, as well as Robert Bougas, Sean Bradley and Luke Trocado.
Raubenheimer and Snyman were also part of a four-man team who scored a comprehensive 31 shot victory at the All-Africa Junior Golf Championships at the Gaborone Golf Club in April.
Hough said that although their practice sessions were interrupted by exams, the team are as ready as can be expected.
“We have had some interruptions, but I think we will surprise a lot of people,” he said. “As individual players, the guys have all performed well this season. As a team, they came together nicely during practice and I believe we stand a strong chance of retaining the title.”
The country’s largest junior team competition has drawn top junior golfers from 13 golf unions across South Africa and will be contested over five rounds of Foursomes in the morning and Singles in the afternoon.
For the first time, the teams have also been split into an A-Section and B-Section, aligning it to the format used in the SA Interprovincial and SA Mid-Amateur Interprovincial.
The six teams battling for A-Section honours include the defending champions, Gauteng North, Central Gauteng, the Eastern Province, Ekurhuleni and KwaZulu-Natal, while the seven teams who will challenge for B-Section promotion are North West, Boland, Free State & Northern Cape, Southern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Border.
Hough is well aware that his team will face some stiff competition this year.
“If you look at individual stars, Gauteng North has Tristen Strydom, Ekurhuleni has Jason Froneman and Central Gauteng has David Meyers,” he said.
“Strydom won the SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play, Froneman won a Nomads National Order of Merit event and the Glacier Junior Series Final and Meyers shared the SA Boys U-17 Stroke Play title with Xander Basson.
“All three have performed consistently well and should be the mainstays for their teams. However, the IPT is a team competition and you need all eight players to contribute. That’s the beauty of this format. You can never underestimate your rivals because it is what happens on the day that counts, hole-by-hole and player-by-player.
“I’m comfortable that we have eight very strong players on the team and if we can get a solid start to get the momentum going, we stand a great chance of keeping the trophy at home.”
Hough felt that the B-Section will result in a tough battle for A-Section.
“Again, you have some very hot players in Thriston Lawrence from Mpumalanga and Jovan Rebula from the Southern Cape,” he said.
“Rebula won the SA Boys U-15 and has the experience of playing for the Southern Cape at the SA IPT. Lawrence not only won the SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play and a National Order of Merit event, but he also gained a lot of experience playing for South Africa in the Italian International Under-16 Championship with Froneman, Snyman and Strydom.
“I think the B-Section is where the real drama will unfold this week.”