HIS­TORIC WIN

The Gar­den Route boys win the Ju­nior In­ter­provin­cial for the first time.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - By Barry Havenga

The Ju­nior IPT at Worces­ter; 2015 Mid-Am­a­teur re­view.

South­ern Cape is one of the growth ar­eas for golf in South Africa, and their Un­der-19 team cre­ated his­tory at Worces­ter Golf Club in De­cem­ber when they won the Ju­nior In­ter­provin­cial for the first time.

South­ern Cape is a close-knit golf­ing com­mu­nity, their cour­ses stretch­ing from Mos­sel Bay in the east to Hei­del­berg in the west, with Ge­orge as the cen­tral point. Key to the team’s suc­cess was the fact that seven of the eight play­ers live in Ge­orge.

“We are all good friends and know each other’s games re­ally well, be­cause we see each other all the time,” ex­plained South­ern Cape cap­tain Jo­van Re­bula, who ended his ju­nior ca­reer on a win­ning note. “We were for­tu­nate to have five guys who had played in an IPT be­fore, so we paired th­ese ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers with the three rook­ies.” South­ern Cape had a for­mi­da­ble record in the four­somes at Worces­ter, win­ning 18 points out of 24, and that was the foun­da­tion for their suc­cess.

Just 20 years ago South­ern Cape was a sub-union of East­ern Prov­ince (Port El­iz­a­beth), but the golf course con­struc­tion boom in the Gar­den Route re­gion changed the dy­nam­ics. There are now more af­fil­i­ated golfers in the South­ern Cape than there are in EP, and it is the eighth largest union in the coun­try.

The re­gion has al­ways had promis­ing tal­ent, but the es­tab­lish­ment of the Ke­Nako Academy in Ge­orge took that tal­ent to an­other level. For­mer tour pro­fes­sional Roger Wes­sels, di­rec­tor of golf at Ke­Nako, again man­aged the South­ern Cape team in Worces­ter. Five of the team mem­bers are at his academy.

The in­volve­ment of Wes­sels, with his ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge, has trans­formed the for­tunes of the South­ern Cape ju­niors since he took over the reins as man­ager in 2013, and they won the B sec­tion at Bel­lville. The team had pre­vi­ously en­dured three dread­ful years be­tween 2010 and 2012 when they fin­ished near the bot­tom of the log each time. In 2014, at Krugers­dorp, South­ern Cape ac­quit­ted them­selves well with a fourth-place fin­ish in the A sec­tion, beat­ing Gaut­eng North and nar­rowly los­ing to cham­pi­ons Western Prov­ince.

South­ern Cape started brightly in Worces­ter with com­fort­able vic­to­ries on day one over newly pro­moted KwaZu­luNatal (8-4) and Ekurhu­leni (8½-3½) be­fore hav­ing a bye on day two. (The A sec­tion had grown to seven teams in 2015.)

They had a big match with un­beaten log lead­ers WP on day three. Prov­ince had made a great start to the week in de­fence of their ti­tle, beat­ing Cen­tral Gaut­eng on day one and halv­ing with Gaut­eng North, then back­ing that up with two more vic­to­ries on day two. WP found them­selves 4-0 down af­ter the morn­ing four­somes, and the match was as good as over. South­ern Cape took the sin­gles too, and vic­tory by 8½-3½ put the ti­tle firmly in their sights. They had a 100 per­cent record, while WP and Cen­tral Gaut­eng, the 2013 cham­pi­ons, had each dropped three points.

Day four saw South­ern Cape ram­pant once again, beat­ing Gaut­eng North 8-4 and hosts Boland 8½-3½, and the ti­tle was theirs with a day to spare when Cen­tral lost to KZN. South­ern Cape lost 7-5 to Cen­tral on the fi­nal day, but it was in­con­se­quen­tial.

“This week we all played for each other,” said Re­bula. “It was an im­mense team ef­fort. Dur­ing the week ev­ery player needed to step up at some stage and they all de­liv­ered.”

Cay­lum Boon was South­ern Cape’s MVP, win­ning 10½ out of 12 points, in­clud­ing 5½ sin­gles at No 3 in the or­der. He and four­somes part­ner Martin Vorster won five of their six matches to­gether. Alex van Wyk won 9½points, Cameron Mo­ralee and Alan Lones 8½, Vorster 8, Julien Sale 7½, Franklin Manch­est 6½ and Re­bula 6.

Cen­tral’s Dy­lan Naidoo was the only un­beaten player in the A sec­tion, win­ning 11 out of 12 points, four wins and two halves in four­somes, and all six sin­gles at No 2 in the or­der.

Free State won pro­mo­tion to the A sec­tion with a dom­i­nant dis­play, drop­ping only 13 games in their con­vinc­ing six vic­to­ries. They were led by B sec­tion MVP Wilco Nien­aber, 15, from Bloem­fontein, who won 11½ out of 12 points, in­clud­ing all six sin­gles at No 2 in the or­der. The­rion Nel, Ruan Pre­to­rius and At­tie van Wyk won 11 out of 12, Le­an­der Sny­man 10½, Steven le Roux 10, Ge-Rico Muller 8½ and Franco Frone­man 7.

The win­ning South­ern Cape team. From back le : Cameron Mo­ralee, Julien Sale, Jo­van Re­bula, Cay­lum Boon, Alan Lones, Martin Vorster and Roger Wes­sels (man­ager). Front: Alex van Wyk and Franklin Manch­est.

The Free State team with man­ager Nicky Nel (back right).

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