HOME TOWN WIN FOR CEN­TRAL

Cen­tral Gaut­eng re­gain their hands on the Se­nior IPT ti­tle at the Wan­der­ers.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Amateur Scene -

Cen­tral Gaut­eng have only lost two out of 28 matches in the Se­nior IPT since it be­came a purely match­play tour­na­ment in 2013, but over­all vic­tory at the Wan­der­ers in April was only the sec­ond time they had claimed the new IPT ti­tle.

Play­ing at home with a strong team, Cen­tral were keen to stop Western Prov­ince’s bid for a hat-trick of titles, and they came through nar­rowly on the fi­nal day to re­gain the ti­tle they last won at Eu­pho­ria in 2013.

The ti­tle race has an­nu­ally been a close duel be­tween evenly matched prov­inces. Cen­tral got the bet­ter of WP in 2013 with a 100 per­cent record, but the ta­bles were turned at Erinvale in 2014 when WP were un­beaten. Last year at Ebotse, Cen­tral edged WP in their fi­nal-day clash, but lost the ti­tle to their ri­vals by half-a-point on a games countout.

The two teams were un­beaten through the first three days at the Wan­der­ers, al­though WP had a 2-point games ad­van­tage. It was an­other tense clash. The four­somes were halved 2-2, and WP got three points from the first five sin­gles to be de­cided. It was all down to the top three, and here the two new stars in the Cen­tral team, SA Se­nior Open cham­pion Steve Wil­liams and Stephen John­ston, de­liv­ered. Wil­liams edged Francois le Roux one up, and John­ston beat Brian Mamp­ies 2/1. Vet­eran Jock Welling­ton, 65, halved with WP’s Craig Poul­ton to give Cen­tral a 6½-5½ vic­tory.

How­ever, even had WP man­aged a 6-6 half, they would still have lost the ti­tle, as at the same time they were sur­pris­ingly be­ing thrashed 9-3 by KwaZu­luNatal, the other team in the tri­an­gu­lar bat­tle that day. Natal won seven of the eight sin­gles matches in what was the only high­light of a dis­ap­point­ing week for them.

Gaut­eng North fin­ished third in the A divi­sion, but were out of con­tention by day two, hav­ing lost to both Cen­tral (8-4) and WP. Their No 1, Mel­lette Hen­drikse, was the A divi­sion MVP, his only sin­gles loss be­ing against Steve Wil­liams.

Cen­tral’s other team mem­bers were older cam­paign­ers Schalk Naude, Richard Bruyns and Gavin van Aswe­gen, all three of whom were in the win­ning 2013 team, plus new boys Jo­han Swart and Greg Glee­son. Naude’s ex­cep­tional run in the Se­nior IPT con­tin­ued, hav­ing earned 34½ points out of 42 the last three years.

Cen­tral had three ex­cep­tional four­somes pair­ings – Welling­ton and Naude won six of their seven games, and it was five wins for John­ston/Wil­liams, and Bruyns/Van Aswe­gen. John­ston was un­beaten in the sin­gles, win­ning six and halv­ing one; Wil­liams and Bruyns each had six wins, and Van Aswe­gen five.

Su­per Se­nior Her­man Septem­ber, Brian Mamp­ies and An­drew Cleophas were WP’s best play­ers. – Stuart McLean

The tri­umphant Cen­tral Gaut­eng team with man­ager Jaco du Plessis (far right).

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