McClatchie makes a big move in Italy

Ekurhuleni’s Kyle McClatchie blasted into the top 10 at the halfway mark of the seventh Italian International Under-16 Championship in Valcarozza, Italy alongside team mates Keegan de Lange and Ross Sinclair from Gauteng North.

On Tuesday, De Lange put himself in the running with an opening 73, while Sinclair from Tshwane tied for 17th with a 76, but McClatchie battled a balky putter to an opening 80 to finish in the lower order at the Golf Club Biella Le Betulle.

McClatchie’s short stick caught fire in the second round, though, and the 16-year-old KES scholar romped home in one-under-par 72.

Although the Ekurhuleni golfer dropped shots at the fifth and 12th holes, birdies at the 11th, 16th and 18th holes saw him finish in red figures and vault to joint 10th on six-over-par 152.

Sinclair tied for eighth on 151 with a two over 75, while De Lange held on to a share of fourth on four over 150 with a second round 77.

Meanwhile Kristoffer Reitan from Norway tightened his grip on the 36-hole leaderboard.

The first round leader carded a second successive 71 to set the target at four-under-par 142. The only player to clock in under par at the halfway mark, the Oslo golfer will start the third round six shots ahead of Czech Vaclav Lebl and Arrun Singh-Brar from England.

SAGA Junior, Senior and Development coordinator Eden Thompson said De Lange, Sinclair and McClatchie were very positive ahead of the third and fourth rounds on Friday.

“Keegan came back strong over the back nine with two birdies against a bogey, but he was pretty disappointed to miss a four-footer for birdie at the 18th,” Thompson said.

“Ross played two great rounds and despite the occasional slip up, has put himself in a great position going into the final two rounds. His length off the tee is a massive advantage, but he just needs a few more putts to drop. He is not even carrying a driver and hits his three- and four-woods past the drives of his playing partners.

“Kyle’s 72 was quite literally the worst he could make when you look at his stats. He hit the ball very solid and at last a few putts dropped. He just needs to get that putter going properly to put together a great score.”

Southern Cape’s Jovan Rebula, the final South African in the mix, missed the cut set to 40 and ties by four shots after posting rounds of 81 and 79.

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