U19 IPT 2012

Great week and great news for our U19 team that participated in the annual junior IPT hosted this year by the Paarl Golf Club in the Boland. We were the winners!!

This tournament is the highlight of the year for all junior golfers. Being on the team signifies an enormous amount of dedication and hard work. The player must have had an outstanding golfing record that is the highest among the province’s junior players throughout the entire year. Every province in South Africa uses the same criteria to select a team in order to play for the chance to be crowned the “u19 IPT winners”. The format is a match play event of 36 holes per day for 5 days in a row and it demands teamwork. The team’s previously selected pairings are sent out very early each morning to compete in foursomes. Every afternoon teammates play side by side but in singles competition. This is a monumental amount of golf, played continuously, over an extended period of time. It can only be described as TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH. You can only do this if you truly love this game. The player’s physical fitness, mental stamina, attitude and their ability to work hard together with their mates are the characteristics necessary for this success. And our team has displayed just that. To make things even more impressive, Gauteng North has now won this prestigious event more times than any other, leading the pack by two and now winning twice out of the last three years. We must take cognizance of that and realize we are doing something right, our administrators, managers, coaches, parents and players.

The winning team

We must give special recognition and thanks to our team’s manager, Andre Louw from the Graeme Francis Golf Academy (GFG) in Centurion. Congratulations and job well done! Andre is a gentleman and a dedicated coach that does great work with younger golfers at GFG. Thank you Andre, for sacrificing your personal time for us and for helping reduce my burgeoning workload. The GNGU is in awe of your brilliant managerial skills.

This win did not come without problems and as always, our closest friends, neighbours and STAUNCHEST RIVALS, Central Gauteng, gave us a run for our money. Notwithstanding any of the battles that were heroically fought by all our team members, one stood out among them. That is Rosswell Sinclair. Rosswell was this year’s president’s pick, chosen by the executive committee of the GNGU of which my vote is only one. It was a gamble as Rosswell is only 15 and has never played on the u19 IPT team but Rosswell had a very good DOOM stroke average. Add to this the fact that Rosswell, having played in all but one of the Quadrangulars in the past two years, had never lost a singles match. This choice turned out to be a good one. Rosswell is a good friend of my son, and my son kept us up to date with his preparations and he didn’t let up for two months prior to this event. Things were boding a good outcome. Andre in his managerial brilliance kept Rosswell and his foursome playing partner, Adriel Poonan together throughout the tournament. By the end of the day 2, only Rosswell, Adriel and two other players had not lost a foursomes match. Keegan De Lange and JC Ritchie took those two out on Day 3 leaving the way open for Rosswell and Adriel to be the only players to have not lost a foursomes match.

Ross Sinclair

Ross Sinclair

Here, teammates didn’t even know how they were helping one another out, they just did it. All these things kept mounting to keep the team inspired. Rosswell additionally posted wins in all his singles matches, achieved by only three other players in the A division tournament. Rosswell’s wins were often by considerable margins as follows: 3 & 2, 6 & 5, 5 & 3, 3 & 2, and a final day 5 & 4. His opponents didn’t see this one coming. Together with the tournament placing awards, SAGA recognizes a tournament MVP (most valuable player). Rosswell was a convincing recipient. Ross, as rookie you showed the other juniors in the Union and at the IPT what it takes and well done on your achievement. To be the MVP out of the entire country’s best is an amazing achievement and even more so in your rookie year. We hope you have learned with this effort and realize that talent can get you there but it requires hard work to be a champion.

Each year all the provinces need to pick an individual, the eighth player, who comes from the “previously disadvantaged”. This year, Adriel Poonan made the grade.

Adriel Poonan

Adriel Poonan


The GNGU made this decision based on his stroke average and his potential for improvement. I can truly say he rose to the occasion. Adriel, not only partnered Rosswell to their shut out foursome wins, but himself contributed two wins in the singles. Thank you, Adriel for your outstanding play and contribution to the team.


Hearty congratulations must be given to our players choice Captain, Phillip Kruse. He kept our winning hopes alive all the time. Always smiling, never complaining, Philip, a seasoned player in not only the junior IPT’s but also the GNGU’s other IPT’s, was decisive as one of the only four other provincial players to win all their singles matches and also contributed three wins from his foursomes. All in all a very successful IPT. And if I remember correctly, Philip was lying second in the MVP list for four days in 2011 as well.

Philip's victory  speech

Philip’s victory speech

Thank you Philip for your lovely attitude, friendliness and positive outlook on life. It is clear why the team looked to you for leadership and direction. You have matured into a well-balanced individual and the GNGU salutes you.

A very special mention must be made of the fact that four of our players were in the top 6 on the MVP list! A great achievement in itself. Apart from Ross, Philip and Adriel already mentioned, is Jason Smith, coming in with a solid second place. Well played Jason!

2nd MVP list

2nd MVP list


It is also with a tear in my eye I am congratulating you today Jason. Jason’s junior career with us at the GNGU is at an end, and he will be enjoying golf and a gap year in 2013.

 This also befalls JC Ritchie. Jason and JC, we just want to thank you for gracing our fairways and greens for so long. You will both be remembered for your impeccable manners and sportsmanship in the GNGU. You will be missed by myself as well as your fellow competitors. We will be looking closely at our television sets for the day your names pop up there on the leader board. Go well boys.

Another year has passed and so the space at the top becomes open again for next year’s heroes to be found for our U13, U15, U17 and U19 teams. Thank you to all our wonderful golf clubs in Gauteng North for allowing our juniors their freedom on your courses and allowing them to live out their dream. I will be seeing you all in the New Year.

God bless and stay safe. Leon Roux