SA Amateur at Durban CC; Kyle McClatchie.
Kyle McClatchie, who has since turned professional, not only joined illustrious company when he won the Freddie Tait Cup as leading amateur at the SA Open; his 10-underpar total of 278 at Glendower was the lowest score by an amateur in the history of the championship.
With two 68s and two 71s, he was under par in each round, a notable achievement for the 20-year-old Serengeti member. Sharing the experience with him as his caddie for the week was father Ryan.
The previous best score had been the eight-under 280 by a 17-yearold Charl Schwartzel in the 2002 Open at Durban CC. Schwartzel, like McClatchie, tied for 15th place in that Open.That’s the highest finish by an amateur in the new millennium.The days when amateurs contended for the championship itself are long gone. Ernie Els was the last amateur to finish in the top five, at the 1989 Open at Glendower.
Nowadays it’s remarkable enough for an amateur to even make the 36hole cut in the Open. In the four most recent Opens at Glendower, only two amateurs had achieved that – Louis Taylor in 2013 and Cameron Moralee in 2016.This year three amateurs made it through to the weekend, McClatchie being joined by Garrick Higgo (287) and Matt Saulez (290).
Freddie Tait winners over the last 20 years have included Branden Grace (2006), Dylan Frittelli (2009) and Brandon Stone (2011).
The last player to win two Freddie Tait Cups was David Stratton (197793), while Neville Clarke won it three times (1986-88-91). Both are members of Royal Johannesburg & Kensington. Reg Taylor won the most, four between 1954 and 1976.
Kyle McClatchie (right) holds the Freddie Tait Cup alongside SA Open champion Chris Paisley.