Top Central Gauteng golfers primed for International Teams
VEREENIGING, November 2014 – Central Gauteng Open champion Matthew Spacey will lead a strong Central Gauteng assault, newly minted Harry Oppenheimer Trophy winner Tristen Strydom will spearhead the Ekurhuleni attack and South Africa’s number four ranked amateur Jason Smith will command the Gauteng North troops at the upcoming International Teams Championship.at Maccauvlei Golf Club from 22-24 November.
Spacey will launch his title defence in the Individual Competition of the prestigious national team championship, but the Dainfern amateur can expect strong opposition from Strydom.
The 17-year reigning Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play champion is riding a wave of confidence after vaulting to third in the South African Golf Association’s Open Amateur rankings with his fourth victory of the season on Thursday.
Strydom will line up for Ekurhuleni alongside former Glacier Junior Series National Final winner Jason Froneman, EGU Junior Player of the Year Kyle McClatchie and reigning Nomads Boys U-19 Match Play champion Paul Boshoff.
Stefan Cronje, who shared the runner-up spot with Western Province’s Luke Trocado, will lead the C-team with Angus Ellis-Cole, Teagan Moore and NJ Arnoldi.
Trocado will definitely be looking for revenge after falling one birdie short of forcing Strydom into a play-off.
The Atlantic Beach golfer will team up with Carlo O’Reilly, seasoned SA IPT captain Werner Theart and Ian Snyman, a record six-time Open winner on the WPGU Premier Amateur Tour this season.
But the field will be wary of Smith, who arrived back from Argentina on Thursday.
The reigning SA Stroke Play champion won the Ekurhuleni Open Stroke Play Championship last month and will be in hot form after a ninth place finish with Arnoldi in the Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup and reaching the top 16 in the Argentine Amateur Championship.
Smith will lead the A-Team alongside Hendrikus Stoop, a two-time winner this season, SA IPT captain Teaghan Gauche and Philip Kruse, who rallied for a top five finish in the Oppenheimer Trophy.
In addition to Ekurhuleni, Gauteng North and Western Province, this year’s event has also drawn teams from Boland, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the North West Province, as well as a team from The Golf School of Excellence and a local side that will represent the host venue.
And the host union has bolstered their chances with four teams at this year’s competition.
Central’s A and B Premier IPT sides comprise Spacey, Marco Steyn, Darin de Smidt, Michael Dixon and Gareth Clements from the victorious Premier SA Inter-Provincial team, as well as Basil Wright, Ludovic Bax and Jarred Miltz, who helped the union to victory in the Challenge Cup Teams Tournament.
“The tournament always draws the top players in the country, so we give our top players the chance to challenge, but it’s a great opportunity to give our younger players an opportunity to also gain valuable experience,” said Central Gauteng Golf Union Open Golf Manager, Jaco du Plessis.
“Our junior team is reigning Nomads SA Boys U-17 champion Dylan Naidoo, U-23 IPT player Dean Martin and Karabo Mokoena and Fritz Orren, who both won on the TSGE Junior Tour.
“We also have a young four-man development team from the Gary Player School for Champions at the Momentum World of Golf, including Joe Mudau, Werner van Wyk, Lloyd Herbst and Evance Vukeya, who made his debut in the U-23 IPT side.
“The International Teams Championship provides a really strong competitive platform and gives the youngsters a real chance to showcase their talent as they line up against the more players.”