A SUPERB SINGLES SHOW
The Junior IPT.
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.
WP team members embrace Altin van der Merwe after he secured the trophy-winning point on the final day.
BEST SINGLES RECORDS
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)
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.