EASTERN Province's leading golfers are 10 days away from their opening interprovincial match and captain Naldo Claassen is confident his team will gain promotion.
South Africa's leading 104 amateur golfers will be on show at the Port Elizabeth Golf Club from September 17 to 21 and Eastern Province will be under some pressure to perform.
Claassen's team has been contesting the B Section in recent years but with the tournament being held on home soil, EP are favourites for promotion.
But with that comes pressure, as the EP side of 2003 will attest to. The 2003 side gained promotion at PE Golf Club but not without a fight from their opposition.
EP have struggled at times in foursomes over the past few years and that is something they will be hoping to avoid this time around.
In their final warm-up fixture against local teams on Sunday, the EP mid-amateur side were 3-1 up on their more fancied opponents. EP managed to come back and halve the match after a stronger showing in the singles but they will know they need to hit the ground running in the morning foursomes.
"The foursomes results in our warm-up matches have not been bad, apart from this past weekend," Claassen said. "We started slowly but came back fighting. We know what we have to do. We should win our section.
"All eight of us would have to play poorly for four days on a course we know well [to not win]. I can't see that happening."
The last team practice takes place at The Hill against Boland on Friday next week. "This will be a good barometer of EP's chances of gaining promotion into the A Section," team manager Richard Hargreaves said.
Play will be from 6.45am to about 5.30pm daily.
Meanwhile, the EP Golf Union had its annual prizegiving at the weekend with Uitenhage Golf Club featuring prominently in the awards. The winners were:
Player of the year: Sieg Human (Uitenhage); Stoke Average winner: Sieg Human 70.93 (U'hage); Country Districts player of the year: Morris Olivier (U'hage); Mid-Amateur player of the year: Ryno Ferreira (U'hage); u-23 player of the year: Fezekile Kana (Humewood); Development player of the year: Granwell Gelderbloem; u-19 player of the year: Hando Brophy (PEGC); Seniors player of the year: David Konzani (Humewood); Order of Merit winner 2011-12: 1 Sieg Human (U'hage) 1960 points; 2 Fezekile Kana (Humewood) 1452; 3 Mzuyanda Zingela (Humewood) 1332.