SOUTHERN CAPE NEWS - Three times they were denied, but this time the Southern Cape golf team routed Free State 8-4 in the final round of the South African Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial to punctuate a historic promotion to the A-Division with an unrivalled performance at Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa.
"We were determined to make it to the finish line this year, but with the level of competition in the B-Section, that meant going unbeaten for the week," said team manager Billy Valentyn.
"Historically, our downfall has been a poor start, so the first two matches were crucial. I asked the guys to bring everything they had and they did. From there they just kept pushing."
Determined to make the most of their home course advantage to gain a spot in the top tier, Southern Cape lay down an early marker with convincing victories in their double bill against Limpopo and Mpumalanga on day one.
The Eden side mowed down Eastern Province 10.5-1.5 on day two and went on a tear in their final round-robin match on day four, routing Northern Cape 9.5-2.5 and crushing Border 11-1.
With the B-Section title in the bag, one would have expected the home side to dial it back on the last day, but Southern Cape pushed the gas pedal to the floor to end their week-long campaign in terrific style.
Southern Cape and Free State squared the foursomes, but reigning SA Mid-Amateur champion Almero Theron knocked out number one Nicholas Mitchell 8 and 7, striking the first blow for Free State in the singles.
IPT stalwart Ivan Williams downed Lourens Erasmus 6 and 5 to level the score and Heinrich Frylinck, Henk Geldenhuys and Ian Norgarb reeled off three more points before Pieter Swartz downed Meyer Potgieter 4 and 2 to gain another point for Free State. Marlo Pienaar defeated Jacques Schutte 2 and 1 to take Southern Cape to seven points.
"Anton Prinsloo was 1-up playing 18 against Roedu du Plessis in the last game out and we wanted that final point," said Valentyn. "Puggy played the hole perfectly. He hit a solid drive down the middle, a three-wood from 248m to the front edge and because he couldn't go for the tucked pin, he hit a conservative chip to eight feet.
When Roedu missed the birdie, Puggy got us that last point. Mission accomplished. Now we get to celebrate this good and proper. We look forward to finally rubbing shoulders with the top guns in the A-Division next year." In the other two final round matches, Eastern Province defeated Mpumalanga 9.5-2.5 and Northern Cape beat Limpopo 6.5-5.5.
The Southern Cape golf team clinched the B-Section title in the 2017 SA Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial at Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa. The victorious team members are, back from left: Nicholas Mitchell, Marlo Pienaar, Meyer Potgieter, Billy Valentyn (team manager), Henk Geldenhuys (c) and Ian Norgarb. Front: Anton Prinsloo, Ivan Williams (v-c) and Heinrich Frylinck. Photo: Pieter Els
'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Karoo, Hessqua news'