Ekurhuleni - The
large crowd ringside at the 18th at Glendower Golf Club cheered on
popular Kyle McClatchie as he holed his final putt to capture the
crown jewel of amateur golf - the Freddie Tait Cup - as the leading
amateur in the SA Open on
the four rounds of the national championship, the 20-year-old delivered a remarkably mature performance, carding
controlled rounds of 68, 71,
68 and 71 to close out a top 15 finish on a 10-under-par 278 total.
Chris Paisley fired a six-under 66 in the final round to beat the
challenge of home favourite Branden Grace to win his first European Tour
title by three
shots on 21-under overall.
Paisley's name is etched on the SA Open trophy, McClatchie's name will
follow below an illustrious list of former Freddie Tait Cup winners that
include Ernie Els,
Trevor Immelman, Jean Hugo, Hennie Otto, Branden Grace, Dylan Frittelli,
Charl Schwartzel Brandon Stone.
us amateurs, the SA Open, SA Stroke Play and SA Amateur titles
are the Hole Grail of golf and every amateur dreams of winning it," said
didn't win the other two, so it's really fantastic that I could win the
Freddie Tait Cup before I leave the amateur ranks. This week was about
testing myself on the
biggest stage in South Africa, competing against the best golfers from
the European and Sunshine Tours. I haven't had many opportunities to
play at this level and I wanted to push myself to see how high up the
leaderboard I could go.
an indescribable feeling to see my name up there in the top 15 with
players that have won on the world stage and contested in Majors. For
me, this week more than
lived up to its billing. It was the four most incredible days and I will
take a lot of confidence away from this experience.”
Partnering Frenchman Matthieu Pavon, McClatchie went out in one-under.
slight breeze died down as the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate
golfer started the back nine with three straight pars, birdied the
par-five 13th but gave the advantage
back at the next hole.
highlight of my round was definitely the 15th hole," said McClatchie. "I was in the fairway bunker after my tee shot. My second shot hit the
lip and popped straight
down. I got it out and had 109 metres left to the flag and I holed out
The GolfRSA National Squad player said walking up to the final green
took the sting out of the missed opportunity to tie for 12th after a
late bogey at 17.
was the most amazing experience to walk up and to see all the people
and hear them cheering us on," he said. "The atmosphere around the 18th
was amazing; it was
another first for me."
McClatchie had huge support from the local crowd, including fellow GolfRSA National Squad players Garrick Higgo and Matt Saulez.
heard after my round that Matt ran straight from the 18th green to the
first tee to wish me good luck and then went to hand in his scorecard,"
week was both an exhilarating and exhausting, because everything was so
new. I really loved sharing the experience with my dad (Ryan) on the
bag and big ups to
him for keeping me calm.
my mom (Wendy) and all the friends, family and fellow amateurs and
GolfRSA National Squad players that walked with us and cheered me on, I
am really grateful for
all your support."
amateur Saulez closed with a 75 to finish at two over, while
17-year-old Garrick Higgo from Boland signed off with a one-under-par
287 after a final round