It’s play-off season everywhere, and no-one seems better prepared than Kyle McClatchie. It showed in his opening round of the Big Easy Playoff #1 in the Road to the Sunshine Tour on Monday at State Mines as he carded an opening five-under-par 67 to take a share of the first-round lead.
McClatchie made seven birdies and two bogeys in his round, and he shared the lead with Jonathan Waschefort, who made an eagle, six birdies and three bogeys in his round of 67. They led by one from Ryan van Velzen, Jason Froneman and Luan Boshoff, with Order of Merit leader Ian Snyman a further shot back on three-under with Carlo Heunis and Delano Kotze.
McClatchie, who has won five times in 2021, including twice in the last four weeks, got things going early on with three birdies in a row from the second. His good start was somewhat deflated with a bogey on the par-three fifth, but he picked that shot up again with a birdie on the next par-three, the eighth. He made birdie on 11 and bogey on 14, but he closed out things with two more birdies, on the 15th and 16th.
He is in third position on the Road to the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, and a good performance this week will go a long way to cementing a place back on the Sunshine Tour. Waschefort, on the other hand, is in 26th place and needs to keep things going at full tilt if he is to play his way into the top six by the end of the third play-off.
Van Velzen is second on the rankings, and his good start will give him confidence that he can stay inside the top six and win his way on to the Sunshine Tour. Froneman is in 14th, and a good start is keeping him within reach of getting inside that top six.