McLachlan is Orange Bowl bound

2015 GJS winner Keegan McLachlanPARYS (9 October 2015) – Gaugeng North’s Keegan McLachlan pulled a cat out of the bag with an eagle on the 17th hole and a remarkable recovery on 18 to snatch a one-shot victory in the Glacier Junior Series National Final at Vaal de Grace on Friday.

McLachlan shot a final round even-par 72 to stave off a charging David Meyers and Marco Steyn to win on 13-under-par 203.

Meyers’ impressive 69 took him to 12-under and Steyn, who came roaring up the leaderboard with a 66, took third on 11-under.

Meyers put early pressure on McLachlan with a birdie at the par-four fifth and an eagle on the par-five seventh, but he was left frustrated with his short game as he had two three-putts in the closing holes.

McLachlan came to the 17th two shots behind and he knew he had to act quickly if he was to have any chance of hanging on to his overnight lead and winning the title.

A good drive down the middle was followed by an exquisite six-iron straight over the flag, which left him with an eight-foot putt, which he confidently sank.

“I thought it was perfect but then I said ‘down’ because I thought it might be a bit long. I then knew that I had to box the putt otherwise I’d have no chance of winning,” McLachlan said.

Meyers missed a short putt for birdie and the duo were tied for the lead going down the 18th.

McLachlan had to hack out of thick grass under a tree down the left after a wayward drive, getting an open line thanks to a fortunate drop.

He landed in greenkeeper’s rubble, and did extremely well to put his approach just over the green.

Meyers was just short of the green in two, but was unable to goad his chip close enough to the hole to make par, while McLachlan was left with a little two-footer for the win.

As the winner of the Glacier Junior Series, the 16-year-old from Silver Lakes will now represent South Africa at the prestigious Orange Bowl in America, a tournament where South Africa has yet to enjoy serious success.

Dale Hayes got the closest to winning the international invitational event, but was beaten in a playoff in 1968.

Good fortune usually plays a part in golfing success and McLachlan acknowledged he was concerned when his drive on the last hole missed the fairway to the left.

“I just didn’t want to miss the fairway right, where the Vaal River is, but I was worried when I saw my ball go so far left,” McLachlan said.

“I had a lucky break when it landed in the greenkeeper’s rubble and from there I just tried to get it somewhere near the green”

Luca Filippi of Milnerton was the third member of the final three-ball alongside McLachlan and Meyers and also shot a level-par 72 to finish fourth on 10-under.

Garrick Higgo matched Steyn’s best round of the day with a 66, which lifted him to fifth place on nine-under.

Written and released by Michael Vlismas Media on behalf of Glacier by Sanlam