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Scots clinch a narrow victory at 2012 Triangular

21 Feb 2012

The SAGDB team, Junior SAGA side and the Scottish Golf Union’s National Squad and their managers ahead of the 2012 Triangular at Randpark on 21 February; credit Neil Homann

They may have lost to the Scots and the Junior Proteas, but the SAGDB squad still had a lot to celebrate when the third annual one-day Triangular at Randpark Golf Club wrapped up on Tuesday, 21 February 2012.

The Scottish Golf Union’s National Squad defended their title with 12½ points to the 12 that the Protea side posted and finished four points clear of the SAGDB team.

But, although the tournament had to be called off prematurely due to inclement weather and they finished at the bottom for a third year running, the seven amateurs were exchanging high fives, pats on the back and shouting words of encouragement to each other.

The reason for their celebration was simple. “You have to look beyond the final scores at our overall performance to understand why we are in such great spirits,” said skipper Cedric Rooi.

“Given our past results at the Triangular, we came into this tournament the rank underdogs. But for the fact that play was called off due to the weather, things could have ended differently.

“The Scots did defend their title, but they only beat our South African Juniors by a half point. We finished just four points behind the winners. That is an awesome result for us.”

Rooi is certainly not wrong in his estimation of just how far the SAGDB side has come in three years.

“In our first Triangular, we lost by more than 20 points to the SAGA Juniors,” he explained.

“Last year our losing margin to the Scots was 20 points. To finish just four off the pace really shows just how much this squad has grown in experience. This has been our best tournament ever and they better watch out next year.”

Rooi, who has been the mainstay for the SAGDB squad the last two years, said he was especially delighted to see how Central Gauteng rookies Musi Nethunzwi and Sipho Bujela stepped up to the challenge.

“They beat Dylan (Raubenheimer) and Ian (Snyman) 5 & 4 in the foursomes against the SA Juniors and scored two more points for the team in the singles when Musi won 2-up against Snyman and Sipho 1-up against Raubenheimer,” he said.

“Musi also halved his match against Scott Crichton from Scotland and Sipho forced a 3-up result against Fraser McKenna 3-up.

“They really came through, scoring four and a half points for the team. That shows the kind of dedication, fighting spirit and commitment this team needs.”

Boland amateur Jacquin Hess also stepped up with a halve against the Protea’s Jason Froneman, while Fezekile Kana from Port Elizabeth and KwaZulu-Natal’s Phiwakahle Mkhoma added another point with halves against Tristan Strydom and Tristan Lawrence respectively.

“Overall, we beat the Scots 4 & 3 in the singles and drew 3½ each with the SAGA Juniors and that is our best result ever in the singles and really shows how far we have come in the past few years,” said Rooi, who halved his match against Scotland’s Daniel Kay.

“Nkoma picked up another half point against James White and little Aslam Mallick from Western Province, our youngest player, delivered our final half point against Paul Shields.

“Everyone on the team contributed in one way or another. The team batted from one to seven and that’s how it should be at tournaments of this nature. I am incredibly proud of our performance. Others may think we’ve lost again, but I think we are finally on a winning path.”

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