McClatchie chases more success in KZN
After positive forays on the country’s top golf development circuits, Kyle McClatchie is eyeing more success in this week’s KZN Amateur Championship.
The Golf RSA National Squad player will start his title bid alongside a strong cast of rising stars in the 36-hole Stroke Play Qualifier that tees off at Margate Country Club today.
Following a runner-up finish on the Big Easy Tour and a third place finish in the IGT Tour’s Irene Challenge, McClatchie took it all the way to the finish line when he edged out fellow Ekurhuleni player Tristen Strydom to win the Kyalami Challenge on the IGT Tour last week.
Now the former top ranked junior hopes to convert his recent good run of form into a second Open Amateur victory in KwaZulu-Natal.
His dominance on the junior golf circuit in 2013 and 2014 earned McClatchie the honour of becoming South Africa’s first golfing Olympian when the sport was introduced at the Youth Olympics held in Nanjing, China in 2014.
“It was tough to push golf to the back burner last year, but academics had to take precedence as I sat my final year,” said the King Edward VII School (KES) matriculant. “I played a very limited schedule and consequently, I slipped well down the rankings.”
Faced with an arduous climb back, McClatchie announced his intentions with a joint second place finish in the season-opening Free State Open.
The 19-year-old from Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate was tucked in the final round logjam at the Africa Amateur Stroke Play Championship and, following another runner-up finish in the EP/Border Stroke Play Championship, claimed his first victory in the Boland Amateur Stroke Play in April.
In June, McClatchie was the lone South African to survive the cut in the Carrick Neill Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship and posted an impressive top nine finish at Gullane Golf Club.
Two third place finishes on the Open Amateur circuit in July cemented his spot at sixth in the rankings, and McClatchie is feeling positive about more success after his IGT Tour breakthrough at Kyalami Country Club.
“I took a lot of confidence from the win at Kyalami,” said the Wanna Be A Champion Academy player. “I’ve had to work really hard to get back into form and it was a great feeling to beat out the pros on the IGT Tour for the victory. The game is always evolving and you are always looking for ways to improve but I finally feel that I’ve got myself to a level where I can challenge with confidence.”
’s great to get this win under belt. Watching the golf at the Olympics took me back to Nanjing and all the great memories and experiences I had at the Youth Olympics. It probably also played a small role in this result and I’m really stoked about what the rest of the season will bring.”
Not only will Darin de Smidt be gunning for a KZN double after winning the KZN Stroke Play Championship last month, but McClatchie will have to stave off a strong group of local challengers if he hopes to lift the trophy on Saturday.
Jason Broomhead from Durban Country Club impressed with a joint fourth place at San Lameer Country Club, while Louis Albertse from Dundee Country Club and Mount Edgecombe pair Siyanda Mwandla and Aneurin Gounden all tied for 10th with McClatchie in the KZN Stroke Play.
“The local guys no doubt have the home course advantage, but at the end of the day we all play the same course,” said McClatchie. “You just have to take it hole-by-hole and hope you’ve done enough when the final putt drops.”
To follow the live scoring from the KZN Amateur Stroke Play Championship, click HERE
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.