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