Memorable Proudfoot Trophy victory for Mckain

Royal Johannesburg & Kensington golfer Reece Mckain produced a career-best performance at his home course to lift the Proudfoot Trophy, carding rounds of 64 & 69 to win the 36-hole stroke play qualifier in the 120th SA Amateur Championship on 11-under; credit Ernest Blignault.

7 February 2022 – Reece Mckain completed a wire-to–wire win in the Proudfoot Trophy at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington’s East Course on Monday, leading the pack of 64 qualifiers into the match play stage of the 120th South African Amateur Championship.

Playing on his home course, the 22-year-old BSI Golf member followed up his superb opening round of 64 on the West Course with a round of three-under-par 69 on the East to edge a group of three players by a shot.

Bernard Meyer went seven deep in the final round, and second-round 65 – the low round of the day – featured eight sparkling birdies, with a bogey on the par-four 13th the only blip on his otherwise flawless card. Unfortunately for the Potchefstroom golfer, he was unable to get one more on the par-five closing hole, which would have forced a playoff.

He joined morning starter, GolfRSA National Squad member Yurav Premlall, at 10-under-par and Durban Country Club’s Jonathan Broomhead, who fired a 66 in the afternoon. Premlall, the reigning Nedbank Junior Challenge champion, followed his opening-round 65 with a round of 69.

Mckain explained that he made the most of his local knowledge to win the biggest title of his career.

2022 Proudfoot Trophy winner Reece Mckain

“It has been great to get back to the golf course where I have played most of my golf for the last four years,” he said. “The West is a little more giving, and I made the most of my course knowledge to set myself up well for the final round.

“I just tried to go out there and do my best on the East, which is always a tougher bet and playing especially long after all the rain we’ve had. I got off to a good start with a three-under-par front nine. I knew the guys would chase hard, so I was very pleased to finish with a birdie. I thought it might be enough for the win.”

Mckain’s reward is the top seed position in the match play rounds, where he will have his work cut out for him when he comes up against GolfRSA No 1-ranked junior and Nomads SA Boys Under-17 champion Dan Bennett.

The 16-year-old Beachwood junior carded rounds of 75 and 74, which left him a tie for 60th on five-over, and he had to battle it out for a berth in an eight-man play-off for the last five spots.

Other mouth-watering first-round clashes include two all GolfRSA National squad match ups, between Christiaan Burke and Fabrizio de Abreu, and between 2019 runner up Jordan Duminy and Christopher Bagnall.

International fans will be watching the outcome of several clashes closely.

Adel Balala tied for 13th with rounds of 72 and 69 and the Kenyan rising star will Murad Hoosen, who plays out of the Els Club Copperleaf.

Scotsman Rory Franssen – the Proudfoot Trophy winner in 2016 – goes up against South African Golf Development Board standout Christopher Gutuza from Western Province and his compatriot Steven Roger plays Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member Letsoso Letsai from Free State.

Dutchman Bob Guerts will go head-to-head with GolfRSA National Squad member Werner Deyzel.

Zachary Chegwidden from England was on the bag for 2021 Proudfoot Trophy winner Jack Dyer in the 36-hole final last year. The Orsett golfer will aim to go one better than his countryman, who lost to Christiaan Maas. He faces Royal Oak golfer Christy Raper in round one.

Inaugural champion Bertie Steenkamp from Upington Golf Club doubled up on GolfRSA Champion of Champions titles with a one-shot victory at Kyalami Country Club; credit Ernest Blignault

Another match that is sure to draw attention is the clash between GolfRSA National Squad member Nash de Klerk and 39-year-old Bertie Steenkamp from Upington.

Steenkamp qualified for the SA Amateur by virtue of winning GolfRSA’s Club Champion of Champions event – for a second time – at Kyalami Country Club last year.

The Northern Cape mid-amateur progressed to the knockout stages after rounds of 76 and 71.