Province in early command at SA Junior IPT
The Western Province team laid a solid foundation for their title defence with a comprehensive first-round victory against KwaZulu-Natal at the South African Junior Interprovincial at Paarl Golf Club on Monday.
The defending champions, who claimed a 3-1 lead in the morning foursomes, won four of their afternoon singles and halved one game for a 7.5 – 4.5 victory over the coastal side.
Skipper Dylan Raubenheimer, who partnered Ian Snyman to a decisive 7&5 win against Malcolm Mitchell and Clayton Mansfield in the foursomes, was not overly despondent after having lost his singles match to Mansfield 3&1.
“We really wanted to win our opening match, because it sets the tone for the week ahead and after the foursomes, we needed the top order to step up,” the skipper explained.
“The lower order matches are very tough, so you need the first guys out to get a couple of wins in the bag. The swirling wind made things difficult out there and the KZN guys were tough opponents, but the guys delivered.”
Atlantic Beach’s Luke Trocado at seven beat Ben Botha 1-up, Sean Bradley from Bergvliet at six defeated Matt Saulez 3&2 and Meyer Pauw from Stellenbosch at five scored an comprehensive 8&6 win over Siyanda Mwandla. Raubenheimer said the team will aim for more of the same when they go up against Eastern Province in Tuesday’s second round.
“It’s comforting to have those first points in the log, but we still have a mountain to climb this week,” he said. “Those guys took a 9-3 beating from Central Gauteng, so they will come at us guns blazing. We can’t afford to take anything for granted.”
In the final A-Section match, Gauteng North converted a 3-1 foursomes lead to a 8.5 - 3.5 victory over Ekurhuleni.
Meanwhile the North West Province was the only team in the B-Section to open their foursomes campaign with a clean sweep, taking a 4-0 lead into the singles against Limpopo and the Free State & Northern Cape sides.
Although North West kept the pressure up to beat Free State & Northern Cape 8.5 - 3.5, the Limpopo side came back strongly to halve their match against North West and gave Free State & Northern Cape a 7.5 - 4.5 hiding.
Still, North West manager Johnny van den Berg was thrilled with his team’s commitment.
“We missed qualifying for the A-Section last year by a single point, so you could say that we are on a mission this week,” he said. “We have to avenge that point and I’ve got eight very determined young charges who want to make sure they finish top of the log this week.
“They have done a great job so far, but it’s important that we have to keep the momentum going against Mpumalanga and Border on Tuesday.”
The foursomes between Southern Cape and Mpumalanga were drawn two-all, but Boland was 2-2 against Southern Cape and 2.5 - 1.5 against Mpumalanga. Boland forged ahead in the singles to claim a 7-5 win over Mpumalanga and 6.5 – 5.5 victory over Southern Cape. The Mpumalanga team downed the Garden Route side 7-5.
ROUND TWO DRAW
Ekurhuleni vs Central Gauteng
KwaZulu-Natal vs Gauteng North
Western Province vs Eastern Province
North West vs Mpumalanga vs Border
Limpopo vs Boland
Byes: Free State & Northern Cape and Southern Cape