McClatchie forges ahead at Amateur Championship

KENT, England (21 June 2017) – Reigning English Open Stroke Play champion Kyle McClatchie reached the knockout stage in the Amateur Championship, but fellow GolfRSA National Squad members Albert Venter and Garrick Higgo will have a battle on their hands this morning to book their spots in the top 64 at Royal St Georges in Kent, England.

Kyle McClatchie in action at The Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s Golf Club in England; credit Neil Homann / GolfRSA

McClatchie, who was the only South African to survive the cut in last week’s St Andrews Links Trophy, carded an opening round of two under 70 at the nearby Prince’s Golf Club in the 36-hole stroke play qualifier on Monday.

A round on one-under-par 69 at the former Open Championship venue on Tuesday rocketed the Ekurhuleni golfer to a tie for 23rd on three under 139.

Venter from Gauteng North and Boland junior Higgo both found themselves in the 24-strong pack when the cut for the top 64 and ties was made at one under 141.

Venter posted a 69 and Higgo 70 at the Prince’s course in round one. Higgo carded a 71 and Venter up-and-downed from 20 meters short of the final green at Royal St George’s for round of 72 to finish at 141.

“The first round is actually a preliminary round to decide the last 13 players for the top 64 that will contest the Amateur Championship title in the match play stage,” said team manager Neil Homann.

“Albert will be playing Slovenia’s Zan Stirn from Slovenia and Garrick is up against Matias Honkala from Finland. The rest of the qualifiers have a first round bye. Kyle’s second round opponent this afternoon will came out of the final 13 from round one.”

For the rest of the GolfRSA National Squad and the four other South Africans it was a short week in Kent.

Southern Cape’s Jovan Rebula led the local challenge with an opening six-under-par 66 at the Prince’s Course, but returned a 77 at Royal St George’s to miss the cut by two alongside fellow US collegiate golfer Dylan Naidoo, who registered rounds of 71 and 72.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Gregory Royston (71-73) finished at two over 144 and Marco Steyn (73-72) from Central Gauteng at 145.

Western Province junior Luca Filippi and Southern Cape junior Christo Lamprecht flew straight from Japan to the United Kingdom with Higgo, where they represented the country in the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup alongside Jayden Schaper. Battling jetlag, Filippi carded rounds of 70 and 76 and Lamprecht 74 and 73 to finish at 146 and 147 respectively.

Keegan de Lange (73-75) from Gauteng North posted 148, Rupert Kaminski (74-76) carded 150 and Matt Saulez (77-74) from KwaZulu-Natal closed out the local challenge at 151.

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