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