Man on a mission McClatchie
Just two days after he lifted the Western Province Amateur title at Westlake Golf Club, South Africa’s number one ranked amateur Kyle McClatchie rode a rich vein of form to lead the first event of the 2017 Big Easy Tour on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old from Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate crafted a magnificent seven-under-par 63 to take pole position at Killarney Country Club. He leads by three shots from fellow amateur Slade Pickering and he is five shots clear of Bennie van der Merwe.
As the first golfer to fly the flag for South Africa in golf’s first staging at the Youth Olympics in 2014, it comes as no surprise to the golf pundits who follow the local amateur scene to see the Golf RSA National Squad member at the top of the pile.
McClatchie came close to a maiden breakthrough on the Big Easy Tour last year, but was kept out of the winner’s circle at Kempton Park Golf Club by Pieter Kruger.
However, less than a month later, he won the IGT Challenge Tour’s Kyalami Challenge in just his second start on the country’s premier development Tour.
His 4 & 3 triumph over local favourite Luca Filippi in the 36-hole final for the Western Province Amateur title this weekend was his second provincial title this season and restored him at the top of the Open Amateur Rankings.
The rich vein of form couldn’t have come at the better time for McClatchie, who heads to the United Kingdom next week.
McClatchie will try to emulate South Africa’s only Irish Amateur Open champion Louis Oosthuizen at Royal Country Down from 11-14 May and the attempt to better last year’s tie for eighth in the Coupe Murat Internationaux de France in Chantilly, France.
“After France I will join up with the rest of the GolfRSA Squad for the United Kingdom Tour,” he said.
“I’m really excited about the two months and the chance to compete in some top ranked international events.
“The last two weeks in the Western Cape has really helped to build some form and confidence. I didn’t start too well in my title defence at the Boland Amateur, but I worked my way to a tie for 13th with a 67 in the final round. I made a great start in the WP Amateur Stroke Play Qualifier with a 66 and finished joint third and I was never down in any of the matches in the match play. That’s the kind of form I hoped to achieve before I head to the United Kingdom.”
McClatchie holed four birdie putts on the front nine at Killarney Country Club to offset a bogey at the third and he countered a second bogey at 12 with birdies at 11 and 14. He hit a seven-iron to seven feet and holed the putt for eagle at 15 and a birdie at 18 helped him to set an unmatched target.
“I am striking the ball well and that always helps to give oneself chances,” said the Wanna Be A Champion player. “You have highs and lows all the time, but you have to come out of the lows stronger to improve. Right now my goals are to limit mistakes and shoot sub-par rounds. I never dropped a shot in the 36-hole final at the Western Province Amateur and that was key to the win. I’ve made a good start to the season and the goal now is to just keep building on this form.”
TOP 20 LEADERBOARD
63 – Kyle McClatchie
67 – Slade Pickering
68 – Bennie van der Merwe
69 – Jacques P de Villiers, Anton Haig, Paul de Beer
70 – Antonio Rosado, Divan Gerber, Jeff Inglis
71 – TB Mathebula, Brett Liddle, Neezy Thubisi, Etienne Bond, Teagan Moore, Jabulane Mabilane, Richie O’Donovan, Maritz Wessels
72 – Kyle Barker, Duane Keun, Teboho Sefatsa, Bryandrew Roelofsz, Jastice Mashego
SCORING Big Easy Tour Killarney – Click HERE
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.