KZN clinches SA Country Districts glory

2017-06-01 06:00
2017 SA Country Districts A-division champions Kwa-Zulu-Natal (back, from left) Koenie Erasmus, Corne van Deventer (captain), Ryno Crous, Graham Fabricius, Wynand de Swardt, and (front, from left) Thomas Lovett, Sean Baker, Derek Scullard and Jens Hillerman.PHOTO: justin klusener

2017 SA Country Districts A-division champions Kwa-Zulu-Natal (back, from left) Koenie Erasmus, Corne van Deventer (captain), Ryno Crous, Graham Fabricius, Wynand de Swardt, and (front, from left) Thomas Lovett, Sean Baker, Derek Scullard and Jens Hillerman.PHOTO: justin klusener

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THEY say it is never over until the last putt drops, and that proved the case in this year’s SA Country Districts as KwaZulu-Natal fought their way from the bottom of the log to claim A-division victory at San Lameer Country Club last Friday.

After two days lost to unrelenting rain pounding the South Coast and rendering the course unplayable, the championship finally got under way on Wednesday, May 15.

“We had a first round bye, so the guys who played in the morning were nicely warmed up,” said KwaZulu-Natal manager, Wynand de Swardt.

“We were pretty confident going up against North West province in the second round, but came out guns blazing after beating Free State 6.5-5.5.

“We made the worst start imaginable to our title bid when we lost 7.5-4.5 and we knew we needed two very strong performances on Thursday to have any hope of saving our campaign. I asked the guys to dig us deep as they could, and boy, did they deliver,” said De Swardt.

KwaZulu-Natal whipped Mpumalanga 8-4 in the morning and mowed down Free State 7.5-4.5 to rocket to the top of the log.

“We managed to secure four points and we edged out North West for the number one spot on games points,” said De Swardt.

“We had 20 to their 19 games points, so it was tight and Mpumalanga was also still in the running.

“They were tied with Free State on three points, but Free State had a final round bye, so it was between the three teams. And Mpumalanga had 21.5 games points.

“There was a serious mood in the camp, because the team knew that the fight was far from over.

“We needed to win our last match and we needed to win big to beat North West and Mpumalanga on games points if it came down to a count-out.”

KwaZulu-Natal went up against Boland, while North West faced Mpumalanga on the final day.

The men in black struck gold in their first foursomes game, but lost the next two and the final game was halved.

“It was a great moment when we got to lift the shield. That moment signified all the blood, sweat and tears it took those eight players to fight from the bottom of the log to victory. The quality of golf at this year’s inter-provincial was simply outstanding and our players showed a lot of character to turn things around.

There were eight heroes at San Lameer and they all deserve credit for our success,” said De Swardt. – Supplied.

Final standings

(Position / Union / Played / Won / Drawn / Lost / Points / Games Points)

1. KwaZulu-Natal (4, 3, 0, 1, 6, 28)

2. North West Province (4, 3, 0, 1, 6, 26)

3. Free State (4, 1, 1, 2, 3, 23)

4. Mpumalanga (4, 1, 1, 2, 3, 21.5)

5. Boland (4, 1, 0, 3, 2, 21.5).

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