Four IPT titles in five years for rookie team.
Premier IPT and Women's IPT reviews.
It was four wins in five years for Central Gauteng at the men’s Premier Interprovincial as they battled extreme elements and tough opposition at Oubaai Golf Club to retain the title.
Central have enjoyed a remarkable run of success since their near-relegation from the A section at Rustenburg in 2013.They bounced back to triumph atWestlake in Cape Town in 2014, then enjoyed “home” victories at Glendower in 2015 and Bryanston in 2017. Such is the depth of talent that 23 different players represented Central in those four IPTs.
Winning away from their comfort zone at a wet and wind-blown Oubaai on the Garden Route coast – gale-force winds suspended play for two hours on the Wednesday – was a big achievement, considering there were six new players in the eight-man team, none of whom were in the top 20 of the GolfRSA men’s rankings.
Team stalwarts Darin de Smidt, 23 (Krugersdorp), who has been a member of all four of these victorious Central teams, and 46-year-old Ryan Dreyer (Killarney), a team member since 2015, were joined by leading Mid-Amateur Ruan Botha (Randpark 34), Karabo Mokoena (Modderfontein 20), Keelan van Wyk (Ruimsig 19), Reece Haikney (Randpark 18), and 17-year-olds Sam McKenzie (Royal J&K) and Cole Stevens (Parkview).
“Not many people thought we could do it,” said team manager Jaco du Plessis. “Our results testify to the incredible spirit of the team, their commitment to perform for each other, and it is proof that the system we have in Central Gauteng breeds success.”
Haikney, a surprise selection, shared MostValuable Player honours in the A section with Dreyer (plus Caylum Boon of Southern Cape and Armand van Dyk of Gauteng North), earning 7½ points out of 10 for Central. Haikney won four singles matches, while Dreyer was unbeaten in the singles with three wins and two halves. Significantly, they won two important singles in a close clash with KwaZulu-Natal on the Thursday which ultimately meant the difference between winning and losing the title.
Central edged KZN 6½ to 5½ in a tense encounter where seven of the 12 matches went to the 18th. It gave Central their fourth successive win of the week and clinched the Jannie le Roux trophy with a day to spare. On the final day, though, Central were well beaten by home team Southern Cape, and only won by one point.
Southern Cape, champions in 2016 and runners-up in 2017, were favourites to regain the A section title given home course advantage.They began well with two wins, but then halved 6-6 with KZN and lost 5½ to 6½ against Gauteng North. In both matches they were down 1-3 in the foursomes and found it impossible to recover. For their final day encounter with Central they changed three of their foursomes pairings and won the morning session 4-0, sealing second place with their 8½ to 3½ triumph. Southern Cape have thus beaten Central three years in a row in their head-to-head matches.
Boon, Carlo Heunis and Hans-Jurie Human were the top-performing Southern Cape players on the MVP list, with Christo Lamprecht and Martin Vorster delivering additional good results.
The A section teams were again well matched, and KZN must rue three halved matches against Gauteng North – having been 4-0 up in the foursomes – Southern Cape and Free State which left them in fourth place.Their only defeat was against Central.Their two older players, Derek Scullard and Gavin Sole, would have been disappointed with their singles results.