The KPMG Madibaz golf team were crowned the University Sport South Africa champions for the second time in three years at Port Shepstone Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.
After their success in 2016, the Nelson Mandela University outfit won the team strokeplay and matchplay titles at this year’s event.
Furthermore, Altin van der Merwe added to their achievements by winning the individual strokeplay title with rounds of 68 and 70.
In the matchplay event, team manager Karl du Preez said they qualified for the final by beating Madibaz B and Varsity College.
“It was a closely contested final against University of Pretoria, with Madibaz leading 1.5-0.5 after the morning foursomes.
“Tuks won the number three and four singles in the afternoon, but Altin and Kyle de Beer came through to take their singles, securing overall victory for Madibaz.
“A highlight was the ability of the players to perform under pressure,” Du Preez said.
“In the matchplay final it looked like we might be going down 1.5-0.5 in the foursomes, but in the last three holes our players turned it on and produced an effort that, I believe, won the title for us.”
Turning the possible deficit into a 1.5-0.5 lead meant they had to win only two of the four singles to take the trophy, said Du Preez.
On a fairly tight course, keeping the ball in play was the key to success.
“Winning the strokeplay was set up by three players shooting sub-par rounds,” Du Preez said.
“Both Altin and Kyle were extremely consistent in the matchplay. Altin was named the most valuable player after getting six out of six points, and Kyle earned five out of six points.”
While acknowledging the individual performances, the Madibaz manager pinned their success on an allround team effort.
“Everyone contributed at various stages of the event. For example, Jacques Smith shot a fantastic one-under-par in the strokeplay to help us win the title.
“He then played brilliantly against Varsity College in the matchplay, winning his singles 7/6 to ensure the win for Madibaz.
“Jacques and [captain] Colin Baldie also secured a crucial half in the final against Tuks in the foursomes.
“This is massive for Madibaz golf. To beat the best in South Africa is one thing, but to win consistently is something we aspire to.”