KwaZulu-Na­tal and East­ern Prov­ince were un­beaten in the Mid-Ama­teur IPT at East Lon­don GC.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - News -

KZN wins Mid-Ama­teur IPT; Zola Konzani plays like Tiger at Se­nior Ama­teur.

Frayed nerves and huge sighs of re­lief were the or­der of the week for the KwaZulu-Na­tal team, which signed off with three con­sec­u­tive 6½-5½ vic­to­ries to re­gain the A sec­tion ti­tle at the Mid-Ama­teur IPT, their third win in six years.

KZN were in their el­e­ment in windy con­di­tions the first two days, trounc­ing North West 9-3 and de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Ekurhu­leni 10½-1½. On day three, against Gaut­eng North, KZN led 2½-1½ af­ter the four­somes, but be­nign af­ter­noon con­di­tions helped the Blue Bulls, who won the first four sin­gles games. Fac­ing their first real test of the week, the KZN top or­der stepped up to en­sure the nar­row­est of wins. Dale Bur­ras­ton’s 2up vic­tory over Jauqo Ja­cobs at four in the or­der was the cru­cial win­ning point.

Pre-tour­na­ment favourites Cen­tral Gaut­eng faced KZN on day four, hav­ing also won their first three matches, and again the coastal team took the four­somes 2½-1½ be­fore rid­ing the wind to vic­tory. KZN’s fi­nal day match against Western Prov­ince was an­other tense af­fair. The four­somes were shared 2-2, and five of the eight sin­gles went to the 17th and be­yond. KZN won just three sin­gles, but three halves se­cured the John Pick­er­ing tro­phy.

Lyall McNeill was in out­stand­ing form for KZN, with 7½ out of 10 points, in­clud­ing a full house of five sin­gles wins at No 1. Corne van Deven­ter had the same num­ber of points as McNeill, while Clive Lazarus earned

7 points, Keith Forde, David Brown and Bradley Dav­i­son 6½, Mur­ray Gil­son 5½ and Bur­ras­ton 5. Cen­tral’s Kevin Sharp and Gaut­eng North’s Kelso Han­nay won all five sin­gles, with Sharp the A sec­tion MVP with 8½ points.

East­ern Prov­ince, rel­e­gated last year at Mid­del­burg, bounced straight back up to the A sec­tion with an un­beaten B sec­tion per­for­mance at East Lon­don. Hav­ing to play three-way match­play on four of the five days – there are now eight B sec­tion teams with the ad­di­tion of North­ern Cape for the first time – EP pow­ered their way through the draw, with only Southern Cape (6½-5½ on day one) and Boland (7½4½ on day three) pro­vid­ing re­sis­tance.

EP’s Mzuyanda Zin­gela and Southern Cape’s Ivan Wil­liams had per­fect records, win­ning all 14 of their matches. At­tie Burger earned 13 points for EP, Chris­tian Pien­aar and Jo­han Vorster 11, David Konzani 10½ (with 7 sin­gles wins), Ryno Fer­reira 9, Michael Holden 8½ and Lu­dick 8.

The vic­to­ri­ous KwaZulu-Na­tal team with man­ager Neil Cham­pion (cen­tre, back).

East­ern Prov­ince were un­beaten in East Lon­don.

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