AMA­TEUR SCENE

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents -

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.

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