A SU­PERB SIN­GLES SHOW

The Ju­nior IPT.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents 2/ 15 - By Barry Havenga

Western Prov­ince ju­nior teams have not en­joyed the same level of suc­cess as their se­nior peers since the turn of the cen­tury, so in win­ning the 50th Ju­nior IPT in Gaut­eng, where WP ju­nior teams have per­formed poorly in the past, they re­ally ex­celled them­selves.

Hosts Cen­tral Gaut­eng, the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, and Ekurhu­leni were seen as the tour­na­ment favourites, but found them­selves pipped at the post at the end of a com­pet­i­tive week.

In the new mil­len­nium WP and Gaut­eng North have each won four A sec­tion ti­tles, KZN three, Cen­tral Gaut­eng and Boland two each.

Prov­ince re­tained five play­ers from the team that had been sec­ond to Cen­tral at Bel­lville GC in 2013, and this ex­pe­ri­ence was to prove in­valu­able. WP be­gan with an open­ing day 10½-1½ shel­lack­ing of Lim­popo, but the next day found them­selves 3-1 down to South­ern Cape after the morn­ing four­somes. How­ever, a chat from team cap­tain Luke Tro­cado in­spired his play­ers to win six of the eight sin­gles and tri­umph 7-5.

This was to be the trend for the week. As a team, Prov­ince scored 29 points out of 40 in the sin­gles.

Tro­cado played for Prov­ince in the Premier IPT last Septem­ber and the ex­pe­ri­ence would help him as a cap­tain three months later. “I learnt so much from the Premier IPT, es­pe­cially the team talks at lunch and in the evenings. I used those to mo­ti­vate my team,” said the 18-year-old At­lantic Beach mem­ber, who won all five of his sin­gles matches at No 2 in the or­der at Krugers­dorp.

Cen­tral and Ekurhu­leni had also be­gun the week with con­vinc­ing vic­to­ries, and day three saw WP up against Ekurhu­leni in their first crunch en­counter. The four­somes were halved 2-2, but Prov­ince again came to the fore in the sin­gles to win the match 7½-4½.

“The fi­nal re­sult flat­tered us, as the games were closer than they ap­pear on pa­per,” said Tro­cado. “We just made more putts at the right time.”

Day four was a good one for WP as not only did they beat 2012 cham­pi­ons Gaut­eng North 8½-3½, but Cen­tral suf­fered their first de­feat, los­ing to Ekurhu­leni 6½-5½. This gave Prov­ince a two-point lead on the log over Cen­tral and Ekurhu­leni go­ing into the fi­nal day, which meant that a 6-6 half with Cen­tral would be enough to take the ti­tle.

WP made hard work of it though. They lost the four­somes 2½-1½ and it took another strong per­for­mance in the sin­gles to make it 6-6. They got 2½ points from their last three matches. Michael Sher­riff beat Karabo Mokoena 2/1; Luca Filippi came from four down through 11 holes to halve with Ru­pert Kamin­ski; and WP No 1 Altin van der Merwe kept his cool play­ing the last to re­tain a one-hole lead over Marco Steyn.

Ekurhu­leni whipped South­ern Cape 9½-2½ in their fi­nal game, and would have taken the ti­tle on a games count had WP slipped up. Their two top play­ers, Tris­ten Strydom and Paul Boshoff from Serengeti, shared MVP hon­ours in the A sec­tion with 8 points out of 10 apiece.

Noel An­der­son (Steen­berg) was Prov­ince’s MVP with 7½ out of 10 points, in­clud­ing five sin­gles wins at No 6. Rookie Cole Cruick­shank earned 7 points, Tro­cado, Filippi and Sher­riff 6½, Hay­den Gar­cia 6, Alis­tair Snow­den 5½ and Van der Merwe 4½.

In the B sec­tion, KwaZu­luNatal made it a rare dou­ble

vic­tory for coastal teams at a Highveld venue when they won all six of their games to gain pro­mo­tion for 2015. Lim­popo were rel­e­gated to the B sec­tion.

KZN were hardly trou­bled dur­ing the week, with big vic­to­ries over Free State, North West and Bor­der to be­gin with. On day three they had a 7-5 win over even­tual run­ners-up Boland and crushed Mpumalanga. The fi­nal day saw them beat East­ern Prov­ince 7-5.

Anuerin Gounden from Mount Edge­combe was in out­stand­ing form for KZN, earn­ing 10½ out of 12 points, in­clud­ing a full house of six sin­gles wins at No 5. Matt Saulez and Ben Botha each won 10 points – Saulez with 5½ in the sin­gles – Ja­son Broom­head 9½, Luke Mayo 8½, Kea­gan Thomas 7½, Gre­gory McKay 7 and Ruben Coet­zer 6½.

Boland’s 15-year-old ris­ing star Her­man Loub­ser was the B sec­tion MVP, un­beaten for the week with 11 out of 12 points, scor­ing five wins and one half in both four­somes and sin­gles.

PHO­TOS BY CATHER­INE KOTZE/ SASPA

WP team mem­bers embrace Altin van der Merwe after he se­cured the trophy-win­ning point on the fi­nal day.

BEST SIN­GLES RECORDS

A SEC­TION

5 wins – Luke Tro­cado, Noel An­der­son ( WP), Sen­tanio Min­nie ( EK)

4 wins – Paul Boshoff, Tris­ten Strydom ( EK), Fritz Or­ren (CG), Jo­van Re­bula ( SC)

3 wins, 2 halves – Michael Sher­riff, Luca Filippi ( WP), Ste­fan Wears-Tay­lor (GN), Ja­son Frone­man ( EK)

B SEC­TION

6 wins – Anuerin Gounden ( KZN), Steven le Roux ( FS)

5 wins, 1 half – Her­man Loub­ser ( Boland), Matt Saulez ( KZN), An­dre van Heer­den ( Mpuma)

5 wins – Hen­nie O’Kennedy ( Boland), Wilco Nien­aber ( FS), An­dre van Dyk ( NW) B sec­tion win­ners KwaZulu- Natal with pres­i­dent Neil Cham­pion ( far left), man­ager She­lagh Digby, and as­sis­tant man­ager Joseph Kunene ( far right).

Noel An­der­son was WP’s MVP with 7½ out of 10 points.

Boland’s Her­man Loub­ser was the

B sec­tion MVP.

KZN’s Anuerin Gounden won all six sin­gles matches.

Paul Boshoff ( Ekurhu­leni) was joint A sec­tion MVP.

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