Scotland claimed a comprehensive victory in the seventh International Triangular against the South African Golf Association’s Junior Team and the South African Golf Development Board at The Wanderers Golf Club on Tuesday. The eight members of the Scottish Golf Union National Squad rallied to triumph on 16.5 points, while the SA Junior settled for second on 11.5 points. For the SAGDB, who amassed eight points, there was great cause for celebration.
SAGDB CEO Grant Hepburn says: ‘For the first time since we started the International Triangular, our team tied the SA Juniors on six points each. That is a world away from our first appearance where we were thoroughly beaten by both teams. In recent years the team has shown remarkable progress and they fought with great determination this year. They dominated the Foursomes against the SA Juniors 3 – 1 and fought for the draw in the Singles and they did exceptionally well to rob the Scots of two points. I am incredibly proud of their performance and their commitment against some of the top ranked amateurs in the world.’ The Scots were the favourites starting the three-way competition after a superb victory in the Team Competition at the inaugural African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek Golf Estate on Friday. The visitors didn’t hold back as they marched to a 3.5 lead against the SA Juniors and a 4 – 0 lead against the SAGDB in the morning Foursomes.
The Singles, however, produced tight contests, but the Scots continued to stamp their authority with some inspired shot-making. Scott Gibson defeated Aneurin Gounden 2 & 1 and Jamie Savage beat Luca Filippi 1-Up. Sandy Scott and Callum Fyfe both scored halves in their respective matches against Luke Mayo and Keelan van Wyk to tidy up a 6.5 – 5.5 victory over the SA Juniors.
They won all but two matches against the SAGDB, but Nomads National Order of Merit champion Franklin Manchest and Fezekile Kana prevented a whitewash. Manchest beat Callum Fyfe 1-Up and Kana handed Bob McIntyre a 5 & 4 drubbing. After gaining the upper-hand in the Foursomes, the SA Juniors launched a full assault against the SAGDB in the Singles.
Filippi (6 & 5), Keegan McLachlan (5 & 3), Gounden (5 & 4), Ross Sinclair (3 & 2) and Dylan Naidoo (3 & 2) reeled in five points to put the SA Juniors ahead in the match, but Manchest and Kana both won their games to keep the SAGDB bid alive. Evance Vukeya, making his second appearance for the SAGDB in the annual Triangular, squared the match when he defeated Mayo 1-up. Hepburn says: ‘It’s wonderful to continue the tradition that started in 2010 when Mr Johann Rupert first invited the Scottish Golf Union to send members of their National Squad to come out to South Africa to practice and compete in our local events. This annual contest is wonderful exposure for our SAGDB learners and graduates, while our top SA Juniors also benefit greatly from the international competition.’
Photo credit: Ernest Blignault