SA gets 20 point golf-victory over India

SA open amateurs Luca Filippi, Albert Venter, Malcolm Mitchell and Matt Saulez with the Fellowship Cup. Photo: GolfRSA

Four teams of SA’s top golfers (juniors, seniors, mid-amateurs and open amateurs) overcame challenging conditions and forged great friendships during the three-day Fellowship Cup at Leopard Creek.

The tournament started last Wednesday.

The Fellowship Cup was an initiative of Johann Rupert and Dilip Thomas from India to strengthen ties between the two countries, and the second edition proved even more successful than the first.

Matt Saulez, a new member from KwaZulu-Natal, was thrilled with the team’s win. “I really enjoyed testing myself against the Indian competitors on the course and sharing battle stories in the clubhouse after the rounds. We very seldom get the chance to see the top guys in action. It was a massive treat.”

GolfRSA Fellowship Cup’s senior team: Francois le Roux, Steve Williams, Greg Gleeson and Andre van Dyk. Photo: GolfRSA.

Teams played betterball in round one, foursomes in round two and singles in the final round.

On Friday players had to face winds of up to 30 kilometres per hour, testing their skills and patience. The open amateurs managed to finish the week unbeaten, with SA scoring 12,5 points in the final round.

“There is no doubt that all our players, from the juniors to the seniors, have had a great learning experience and it will definitely benefit them when we return home. Many matches in the last two rounds were tight and I believe the victories this week will inspire our players to keep the cup in India next year, said Thomas, India’s team manager.

“Leopard Creek and GolfRSA were fantastic hosts and we are grateful for the opportunities afforded our players to come and compete at such a beautiful and challenging venue.”

Kang beat South Africa’s top-ranked mid-amateur Ryan Dreyer 4 and 3, while Verma downed Gerlou Roux 5 and 4.

READ: Top international golfers compete at Leopard Creek

“The wind made conditions very hard and to pull off the win was fantastic,” said Verma. “The South Africans are very tough to beat because they never give up, so HS and I are extremely proud that we could contribute two points for India in the test.”

Sharma thoroughly enjoyed his debut in the Fellowship Cup.

“It was really tough out there and you really had to focus on your game and shut out everything else,” said the 16-year-old. “It took me a while to adjust to the greens, because we don’t have greens this fast in India. The course is also very long. I can’t believe how far these guys can drive it. I’ve had a fantastic time here and look forward to hosting South Africa in India next year.”

READ: SA golfer makes clean sweep at Leopard Creek

In the overall results, SA’s seniors won India with 3,5 to 0,5. Steve Williams, Francois le Roux and Andre van Dyk beating their competitors. Greg Gleeson halved with India’s Rishi Narain.

The Junior were victorius with 3 to 1. Wilco Nienamber, Christo Lamprecht and Luke Mayo emerging the winners. Jayden Schaper lost to Kartik Sharma 2 and 1.

The mid-amateur teams tied at 2 each. Kevin Sharp and Almero Theron managed to end victorious, while Gerlou Rou and Ryan Dreyer were beaten by Gagan Verma and Harjinder Singh Kang.

The undefeated SA open amateurs were Malcolm Mitchell, Albert Venter, Saulez and Luca Filippi.

The teams can now look forward to travelling to India for next year’s competition.

  AUTHOR
Corridor Gazette

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