The KZN team were defending the title they won at San Lameer CC last year. Photo: Erik S. Lesser/EPA

DURBAN – It was something of a bitter pill to swallow for the KwaZulu-Natal team in that they had to settle for second place at the South Country Districts tournament at Potchefstroom CC last week.

Manager Wynand de Swardt’s charges were defending the title they won at San Lameer CC last year with six of the eight players in action again.

These were Corné van Deventer (c), Jens Hillermann, Tom Lovett, Koenie Erasmus, Sean Baker and Graham Fabricius.

Jason Gilliver and Chris Thorpe came in for Derek Scullard and Ryno Crous.

The KZN team played pretty well all week, with a win against Mpumalanga on day one, a half on day two against Limpopo, and a win on day four against Free State.

They had a rest day on day three, and so faced off against log-leaders and home team North West on the final day.

They lost the foursomes 3-1 and left themselves with too much to do in the singles, but they did give North West a little fright and the outcome could have been very different.

“The guys produced some excellent golf but it was always going to be tough beating North West on their home course. They fought hard but came up just short. There was a great team spirit and the guys need to be commended for their efforts,” said De Swardt.

Captain Van Deventer said he was very proud of his team.

“We were focused and had great spirit. Losing to the home side in such a manner was a bitter pill to swallow and if a few games had turned our way, we could have done it. Overall, a decent title defence.”

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* Chris Woollam (Durban CC) is becoming a force to be seriously reckoned with after a top-five finish at the Irish Amateur at Royal County Down last week.

He had rounds of 71, 72, 76 and 73 to finish on +8 and 10 shots behind the winner Robin Dawson.

Matt Saulez (Durban CC) was tied for seventh on +9, with a third round 77 spoiling to good start he made on day one where had 69.

Clayton Mansfield (Durban CC) was steady for a top 10 finish on +10, while Malcolm Mitchell (Kloof) struggled a touch by his high standards and was T29th on +14.

The rest of the SA team finished further down the leaderboard.

* In Premier League action, one of my predictions was spot on, one very close and one way, way off. Durban CC beat Maritzburg Golf Club away 8-4 which was my ‘educated guess’.

Royal Durban got a 6-6 half at Umhlali Country Club. The prediction had been for Umhlali to win 7-5).

Toti trounced Kloof 10-2 at home. The early call had been a 6,5-5,5 win for Kloof, but the Toti boys have a habit of doing this kind of thing.

In the A section, Victoria CC beat Mount Edgecombe CC A 9-3, while Midlands halved 6-6 at Bluff National Park.

In the other pool, Royal Durban A beat Durban CC A 8-4 and Zululand beat Maidstone 6,5-5,5.

The Mercury

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