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McClatchie takes early lead at SA Boys U-19 Champs

01 Apr 2013

Ekurhuleni golfer Kyle McClatchie took a one shot lead in the Stroke Play section of the SA Boys U-19 Championship at Benoni Country Club; credit Deon Smit, Immanuele Photography

Ekurhuleni’s Kyle McClatchie made a strong start in the South African Boys U-19 Championship at Benoni Country Club when he claimed pole position in the first round of the 72-hole Stroke Play section on Monday.

McClatchie fired an opening four-under-par 68 to finish one stroke clear of Pretoria Country Club’s James du Preez and Zander Gouws from Piet Retief Golf Club. The 15-year-old KES scholar leads by two from Potchefstroom’s Stephen Allen, who shares fourth place on two under from Kuils River Golf Club’s Dylon Jacobs and KeNako World Juniors winner, Jade Buitendag, from East London.

McClatchie joined early pacesetters Jason Froneman from Kempton Park Golf Club and Buitendag when he rattled in birdie putts at the 10th, 12th and 14th.

The Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate golfer completed the outward nine in three-under-par 33 after erasing a bogey at 17 with a fourth birdie at the par-five 18th. A pair of birdies at the second and fourth saw him dip to five under and the Ekurhuleni golfer played solid par-golf over the next four holes before dropping one more shot at the closing par-five ninth.

However, his opening 68 was a nine shot improvement on his first round effort a year ago at Katberg, underlining McClatchie breakout form this season.

In January, he finished 10th in this season’s first National Nomads Order of Merit tournament at Mowbray Golf Club. The following month he won the Central Gauteng U-23 Open Championship at Glenvista, claimed a play-off win in the Reading Junior Classic and delivered an outstanding performance in his debut for the South African Junior side that defeated the SAGDB and a team from Scotland in the annual Triangular in Rankpark.

Meanwhile defending champion Tristen Strydom recovered from two early bogeys and a double bogey to stay in touch with an opening one-under-par 71, but reigning SA Boys U-19 Match Play champion Thriston Lawrence has some work to do to reduce the gap between himself and the leader.

The newly  crowned Sanlam SA Amateur champion trails McClatchie by seven shots after a disappointing one over 73, with four dropped shots and a double bogey on his card.

The 72-holes Stroke Play section will consist of two 18-hole rounds, followed by a cut to the top 65 and a 36-hole final day. Only the top 32 players from the Stroke Play will qualify for the Match Play from 4-6 April.

TOP 20 SCORES:

68 - Kyle McClatchie

69 - James Du Preez, Zander Gous

70 - Stephen Allen, Dylon Jacobs, Jade Buitendag

71 - Tristen Strydom, Nico Du Buisson, Hennie Du Plessis, Aheurin Gourden, Darin De Smidt, Jason Froneman, Ross Sinclair

72 - Alex Brandkamp, Malcolm Mitchell

73 - Christopher Hibbert, Thriston Lawrence, Rupert Kaminski, Cameron Nesmith, Duncan Van Der Vyver, Fritz Orren, Nicholas Frade, Paul Boshoff

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