Friday, 24 September 2010
PRETORIA (24 September 2010) – Western Province Golf Team (pictured) was in ascendancy once more as they claimed the 50th South African Inter Provincial at Pretoria Country Club on Friday. The 2008 champions mowed down Southern Cape 8½ - 3½ for their fifth successive win in this year’s tournament and collected their 16th victory in the annual team event.
“Every win in this competition has been special,” said team manager Henk Smith, who also led Western Province to their spectacular victory in Hermanus two years ago.
Smith, smiling broadly, said the tournament rolled out exactly to plan.
“It is never easy to win all five games at the IPT but our guys pulled it off in spectacular style,” he said. “We kept our 100% record intact and that was what we wanted more than anything else. We made sure that we never got ahead of ourselves, that we played every game on its own merit and that the guys played for the team and not for the man.”
Captain Aaron Russell agreed, saying that even though they had a strong lead and were virtually guaranteed to win, nothing was set in stone.
“We still came out and approached the match against Southern Cape exactly the same way we did every other game this week.
“I think we made a proper job of winning this year. You can’t argue with five matches and five wins – you can’t argue with that. Every one of the guys played well and the team spirit was fantastic.”
Western Province suffered just one loss in the singles, but Russell, Justin Turner, Werner Theart and Le Riche Ehlers and inter provincial rookie JP Strydom all won their matches. Ryan Strauss and Robbie Oosthuizen gained halves. With 8 ½ points out of 10, Strydom was also the team’s most valuable player.
Meanwhile defending champions KwaZulu-Natal raked up four wins, including an 8-4 result over Free State on the final day to finish in second. Central Gauteng were third, Boland fourth and Southern Cape fifth while Free State got the wooden spoon.
In the B-Section, the young Gauteng North side thumped Eastern Cape 8½ - 3½ to win the battle for promotion.
“If you want me to tell you who was the most valuable player in the team this week, I’ll tell you it was Hendre Celliers, Jacques van Tonder, Herman Minnie, Coenie Bester, Maritz Wessels, Fourie Zietsman, Pedrie Oosthuizen and Brandon Stone,” said team manager Gerry Few.
“We were relegated last year and we came to this tournament with a game plan. It was to win and it was non-negotiable. I am incredibly proud of what the team achieved here this week.”
At 17 and the youngest player in the tournament, Stone was also the most valuable for his side, coming out with 10 out of 12 points.
Not only did he win all his singles matches at number one, he also scored two eagles on par-fours and an albatross (hole-in-one) at the par-four 17th – a first for Pretoria Country Club, celebrating their centenary.