It’s still up in the air at the Challenge Cup

RuanConradie_GNGUJOHANNESBURG, 18 May 2016 – Midway through the 2016 Challenge Cup and it is still wide open after the SAGA Juniors flattened Western Province, USSA halted Gauteng North’s winning run and Central Gauteng eked out a second victory at Parkview Golf Club on Wednesday.

Gauteng North bagged victories against Central Gauteng and Western Province, but USSA put the brakes on their run and held the Daisies to a 6-all draw.

USSA trailed 3 – 1 after the Foursomes, but Andrew van der Knaap won 5 & 4 and Luke Jerling downed Albert Venter 4 & 2 to put the side back in the match.

Andrew Plint and Marco Loubser collected two more points to give USSA the edge, but Philip Kruse and Ruan Conradie retaliated for Gauteng North to even the score. Richard Joubert birdied the final hole to square his match against USSA’s Ryan Lane, but his team mate Christopher van der Merwe bogeyed 18 to hand Andre van Zyl the half point USSA needed to draw the match.

The SAGA Juniors dusted themselves off after a second round loss to Central Gauteng and attacked Western Province with renewed vigour. The defending champions took early command in the Foursomes and rode a 3.5 – 0.5 advantage to comprehensive 10.5 – 1.5 victory.

Southern Cape’s Martin Vorster beat Hayden Garcia 6 & 5 set the tone in the Singles and Free State’s Theron Nel and Dylan Mostert from Ekurhuleni both won 5 & 4 to keep the SAGA Juniors on the attack.

Deon Germishuys got a point for Western Province when he downed Aneurin Gounden from KwaZulu-Natal 5 & 3, but it was just too little, too late.

Christo Lamprecht from Southern Cape beat Christian Helmbold 3 & 2 to stretch the lead and Luca Filippi drove a nail in Province’s coffin when he downed Mujahid Agherdien 3 & 2.

Paul Colditz put up a brave fight against Garrick Higgo from Boland. He squared the game with a birdie at 14, matched Higgo’s birdie at 16 and the pair were still tied through 17 holes, but the 2016 Nomads SA Boys U-19 Championship finalist underlined his match play prowess with a birdie at 18 to beat Colditz 1-up.

The President’s Team were riding a wave of confidence after defeating USSA 8 – 4 and the eight-man side proved a handful for Central Gauteng, who had to fight to the bitter end to eke out a 6.5 – 5.5  victory.

The two teams tied 2-all in the Foursomes, but Central Gauteng took the early lead in the Singles with a 6 & 5 victory from David McIntyre.

Siyanda Mwandla from KwaZulu-Natal squared the match when he whipped Tyrone Gibb 5 & 4, and Neswill Croy made good on his promise to deliver when he downed Keegan Steyn 3 & 2, giving the President’s Team a 4 – 3 lead.

When Central’s Jason Rossiter beat Chandler Shaw 3 & 1 to level the scores again, the fight to the finish was on.

Steven le Roux beat Central’s Mohit Mediratta 2 & 1, but Freddie Tait Cup holder Cameron Moralee kept the teams tied at 5-all when he birdied the 18th to defeat SAGA Junior Franklin Manchest 2 & 1.

Kyle Barker finally broke the stalemate to put Central Gauteng in the lead at 6 – 5 when he knocked out Hilmi Mallick 1-up in the second last game out.

It came down to the two number ones – Sentanio Minnie and Central Gauteng’s Dylan Naidoo – to determine the final result. Naidoo birdied 17 to go 1-up, but Minnie from Ekurhuleni responded with a birdie of his own at the final hole to force the game into a draw.

Another close call for Central Gauteng, who are bidding to regain the title they won in 2014 and will be looking for more success against USSA on Thursday, and another confidence booster for the President’s Team, who will tackle Western Province in the round four.

Click HERE to view the third round results

Click HERE to view the third round log

PHOTO – Ruan Conradie aced the 15th hole at Parkview Golf Club in the third round of the 2016 Challenge Cup