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5th May 2017 | Big Easy Tour

Amateur McLatchie leads Big Easy at Killarney

Amateur Kyle McClatchie maintained his recent good form on Tuesday as he carded a fine seven-under-par 63 to lead the first Sunshine Big Easy Tour event of 2017 being played at Killarney Country Club.

He came into this week on the back of beating Luca Filippi 4 & 3 for the Western Province Amateur title on Saturday at Westlake Golf Club. At the end of the first round, he held a substantial four-stroke lead over the other amateur in the field, Slade Pickering, in the 36-hole event, with Bennie van der Merwe in third on two-under, and a group of three players on one-under.

“It was a great round of golf,” he said. “It was nice to keep the bogeys off the card – I did make two, but there were lots of birdies and lots of good shots, so I’m really happy with my work today.”

He started on the 10th, and was well into his work with a birdie on 11. But he bogeyed 12 and then made two more birdies and an eagle ahead of the turn. On his homeward nine, he made four birdies and a bogey.

“I’ve been working really hard throughout the beginning of the year, and I’ve had some nice results the last couple of weeks, and that helped me bring some confidence in here,” he said. “The game’s feeling really good.

“I think my iron play is something that’s really improved a lot over the last two months. I’m hitting lots of shots close and giving myself a lot more chances for birdie than I have been. The putter’s working well as usual, so my irons have really put me in the game and where I am today.”

It’s not his first taste of action on the Big Easy Tour. “I’m hoping to go one better than my second spot in the Big Easy tournament at Kempton Park last year,” he said. “It’s a different atmosphere round professional tournaments, but the level of golf in the amateurs has been really good recently so I feel comfortable out here which is exactly what I’ve been trying to achieve. It’s the same game – it’s a white ball on green grass, and that’s what I try and focus on.”