KPMG NMMU Golf Club captain Colin Baldie and No 1 player Luke Jerling said their performances in the matchplay foursomes proved vital to their triumph in the University Sport South Africa (USSA) tournament.
The Madibaz ended a 28-year drought by winning the A division matchplay section at Humewood in Port Elizabeth last week with a 4-2 win over six-time defending champions University of Pretoria.
“We dove-tailed well in the foursomes and every match that was decided on the 18th we either halved or won,” said Jerling. “That made it so much easier going into the singles.”
Baldie said their match against Wits B demonstrated how important their performances in the foursomes were.
“Against Wits B we won both foursomes on the 18th hole with birdies, giving us a big advantage going into the singles,” he said.
The A division matchplay win was just part of the Madibaz’s success during a week in which they showed they could match the best in South African varsity golf.
The NMMU B team took the B division title in a play-off against North-West University, while the A side captured the team strokeplay crown and Jerling won the individual strokeplay competition. In addition, Baldie was named the Most Valuable Player in the A division.
Baldie said he hoped the teams’ success would be an incentive to young players to link up with the club.
“It means a lot for NMMU and I believe you will get golfers who will think it is a good option to attend the varsity,” the 21-year-old Port Elizabeth resident said.
“We have regular internal order of merit tournaments and you earn points for things like practising on the range, going to the gym and, obviously, playing golf.”
He said it had helped the club to create a competitive environment and that they were determined to keep improving to maintain their standing in varsity golf.
“We have built up a strong spirit, so we hope young golfers will be attracted by what we have to offer. Winning USSA was definitely the highlight of my career.”