McClatchie, Moralee impress on Big Easy Tour

South Africa’s first golf Olympian Kyle McClatchie claimed an impressive joint runner-up finish in the Big Easy Kempton Park, while Freddie Tait Cup winner Cameron Moralee from Gauteng also bagged a top 10 finish at Kempton Park Golf Club on Tuesday.

McClatchie from Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate opened with a sizzling 65 and, despite battling a bout of flu, still managed to post a 68 in the second round to tie professional Ettienne Bond for second at 11 under 133.

The pair finished two strokes shy of winner Pieter Kruger.

“That was the first time I competed in a pro event and it was a pretty awesome; I really enjoyed the pressure of being in with a chance against the pros,” said McClatchie.

“I gained a lot of experience with the Golf RSA National Squad trip to the United Kingdom and competing against top amateurs in really prestigious events and with that experience came some confidence. I feel surer of myself and the decisions I make and it was great to see that I was able to perform under a different kind of pressure from the pros.”

Moralee – the only amateur to survive the cut at the SA Open earlier this year – carded 70 in the first round, but the Dainfern golfer caught fire in round two and produced a 66 that lifted him to sole eighth on eight under 136.

“I was playing nicely in the first round, but I got a little too fancy at the 12th,” said the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation player. “That bogey weighed on my mind but the guys I played with – Coert Groenewald and Eddie Taylor – were quite relaxed; they made the round a lot more pleasurable.

“The course was running out a lot, so it was tough to gauge where to aim, but luckily the greens were pretty soft and I just relied on my previous experience at Kempton Park to guide me.”

Moralee also competed in the Big Easy at Observatory Golf Club earlier this year where he played with last week’s Big Easy champion Mark Murless.

“That Big Easy and the SA Open gave me a good grounding in playing with the pros,” Moralee said. “The Big Easy events are much smaller and you don’t feel the pressure of the spectators, but still, you want to perform. It feels pretty good to take away a top 10 finish against the Sunshine Tour pros any day.”

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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