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SAGDB influence felt at IPT
September 27, 2012

The 52 nd South African Inter-Provincial Championship played at Nelson Mandela Bay last month was one of the most memorable in the history of the tournament. The final day showdown between eventual co-winners Boland and Western Province and defending champions Central Gauteng will be remembered for many years to come.

It wasn't only the incredible end to the event that had historic value however. The 2012 Inter-Provincial also hosted more products of the SAGDB than any previous instalment. In total, seven SAGDB graduates played at the event, confirming that the SAGDB is making big strides in transforming the local golfing landscape.

Eventual joint winners, Boland, boasted the largest contingent, with three former SAGDB players playing a significant role in their success. Most prominent among them was rookie Jacquin Hess, who finished unbeaten in the singles, winning five out of five without any of his matches needing to go to the final hole. His 4 & 3 win over KwaZulu-Natal's Ryan Birnie on the last afternoon set the tone for his team's surge that ultimately secured them a share of the title.

In total, Hess only dropped a single point over the whole week. On top of his singles performances, he won four out of his five foursomes matches with his partner Karl Osche. This superb effort saw him named as joint most valuable player of the tournament together with Louis Taylor from Central Gauteng.

Fellow Boland SAGDB graduates Cedric Rooi and Mark Mahoney played together in the foursomes and won three of their five matches. Rooi also took three and a half points out of a possible five in the singles, while Mahoney secured two and a half singles points for his team.

Central Gauteng, who fell agonisingly short of defending their title, benefited from the contributions of two SAGDB graduates - Musiwalo Nethunzwi, who was a big part of their victory in 2011, and rookie Sipho Bujela.

Playing together in the foursomes, these two youngsters from Soweto dropped only a single point - their one-up loss on the last day to Western Province. They began the week with a 5 & 4 demolition of Limpopo, and followed that with one-up wins over KZN, Boland and Gauteng North.

In the singles, they both won three of their five matches, with their only losses being to eventual joint champions Western Province and Boland.

In the B-section, hosts and eventual runners-up Eastern Province had two SAGDB graduates in their ranks - Andile Adam and Fezekile Kana. Veteran Mzuyanda Zingela, who served as a coach for the SAGDB for many years was also part of the team.

At the end of the five day event, all seven of the SAGDB graduates featured in the 20 most valuable player of the tournament lists. Besides Hess finishing top of the pile in the A section, Nethunzwi and Bujela were joint seventh, Rooi 13 th and Mahoney tied 16 th .

In the B section, Kana and Adam tied for 18th place.

"These performances are a real testament to our coaches and the effectiveness of our programmes," said SAGDB managing director Ken Viljoen. "I'm incredibly proud of all of these players, and I am confident that this is only a start.

"I believe we are going to see more and more SAGDB players coming through and performing at national and even international level. The talent we have in our programmes makes me sure of that.

"Our president, Johann Rupert, has a vision that in time the SAGDB will develop a world champion. And from what we saw over the last week, I'm sure we can make that dream a reality."

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