Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play Your Best -

Cen­tral Gaut­eng re­mained un­beaten for an­other year on their way to re­tain­ing the Se­nior IPT crown at Si­mola in Knysna. Hav­ing won their open­ing five matches of the week, they were held on the fi­nal day to 6-6 halves with Western Prov­ince, who were again run­ners-up, two points adrift, and Gaut­eng North.

Cen­tral have only lost twice in 35 matches since the Se­nior IPT be­came a match­play tour­na­ment in 2013, and this was their third ti­tle of the new era.They scored 56½ points out of a pos­si­ble 84.

The Cen­tral team com­prised stal­warts Schalk Naude, Jock Welling­ton and Richard Bruyns, plus Steve Wil­liams, Greg Glee­son and Stephen John­ston from the team which won in 2016.The new­com­ers were Rurik Go­bel and Derek Reyneke, who both had ex­cel­lent de­buts.Wil­liams, at No 1 in the sin­gles, lost badly on the first day to KZN’s Mor­gan Phillips, but then won his next six matches, while John­ston, at No 2, did the op­po­site, win­ning six sin­gles and then los­ing on the fi­nal day to Gor­don Wes­sels (Gaut­eng North), who also had six wins, and was the stand­out player for his prov­ince.

WP, with new team mem­ber Henry Trevena mak­ing a fine de­but, lost nar­rowly to home team South­ern Cape on the first day, and af­ter that were al­ways play­ing catch-up against Cen­tral, who crushed South­ern Cape hopes on the sec­ond day.

Ekurhu­leni, who halved with WP on day two, were shap­ing up well, but lost twice on day three, a nar­row de­feat to Cen­tral hurt­ing the most. EK even­tu­ally fin­ished third ahead of South­ern Cape, with Gaut­eng North fifth.

The A di­vi­sion MVP was Ekurhu­leni’s Graeme Watson, who won six and halved one of his seven sin­gles, play­ing at No 3, and had the same record in the four­somes with part­ner Kevin Monk. Ber­tus Smit, 64, had a good week for South­ern Cape, claim­ing nu­mer­ous scalps at No 1 in the sin­gles.The only top player to beat him was No 1-ranked Wil­liams.

Mpumalanga were rel­e­gated back to the B di­vi­sion, which they won in 2016, hav­ing lost six of their seven matches.

East­ern Prov­ince, rel­e­gated last year, won the B di­vi­sion with five straight wins, al­though the ti­tle could quite have eas­ily gone to Boland, pipped by EP on the fi­nal day. Boland took the four­somes 3-1 in this de­cider, but EP fought back to win the sin­gles 5½-2½.Their team com­prised At­tie Burger, Manie Daniels (the B di­vi­sion MVP with a 100 per­cent record of wins), Greg de Don­cker, Karl du Preez, Ryno Fer­reira, Mkhuseli Mavuso, Ian Pien­aar and Mzuyanda Zin­gela. Fer­reira had five sin­gles wins, in­clud­ing a vi­tal one over Boland’s An­dre van Dyk, No 3 on the na­tional rank­ings.

The Su­per Se­nior IPT, pre­vi­ously played in the same week, has been moved to the end of the year, and will be played at Pezula in De­cem­ber.

Far left: A Di­vi­sion cham­pi­ons Cen­tral Gaut­eng. Back, from left, Greg Glee­son, Richard Bruyns, Jaco du Plessis (man­ager), Richard Bruyns and Derek Reyneke. Front, Steve Wil­liams, Schalk Naude (cap­tain), Jock Welling­ton and Stephen John­ston. B Di­vi­sion...

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