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European Tour Final Qualifying

Garrick Porteous is bound for final qualifying for the European Tour after he successfully came through stage two at Desert Springs Golf Club, Almeria in Spain. Garrick shot rounds of 69-76-73-72 (+2) in very difficult and windy conditions on all four days and was delighted to eventually qualify.

He was lying in 23rd position going into the final round and with winds touching 40 mph he played superbly to record a level par round. When the whole field had completed their final round Garrick had moved into tied 17th position. However, with only the top 20 progressing to final stage, Garrick had to then warm up again and compete in a playoff for one of the four spots available with six fellow competitors. He prevailed with a par at the first extra hole.

Garrick will now tee it up at Lumine Golf Club near Tarragona, Spain on 15th November 2019 with 155 other hopefuls in search of a European tour card for the 2020 season. He is buoyed in the knowledge his Challenge Tour status is already guaranteed for next year after finishing 56th on the Road to Mallorca. He is playing well, but knows that he will have to be at his best to gain one of the 25 cards on offer.

China Bound

Garrick’s season on the European Challenge Tour continues after he booked his place In China. Needing to finish in the top 53 on the Road to Mallorca rankings he made it on the mark following events in France and Morocco.

Garrick shot 70-71-71-72 (-4) at the Hopps Open de Provence in France to move to 53rd in the rankings. He then backed this up with a very good week in Morocco at the Lalla Aicha Challenge in Rabat. Garrick shot 71-70-68 (-7) in his first three rounds to lie seventh overall. He didn’t make the best start in round four but recovered well to shoot 74(+2) and finish 16th overall.

This ensured he finished 53rd on the rankings and now has entry into the two lucrative events in China. Garrick heads out to China to play in the Hainan Open (17th October) and the Foshan Open (24th October) looking to move into the top 45 on the rankings and secure his place for the Tour Grand final in Mallorca.

Road to Mallorca

The European Challenge Tour is heading for the business end of the season. The tour has recently announced that the Grand Final will be held Mallorca starting on the 7th November 2019. So all tour players are gearing up their efforts to ensure they are in the top 45 in the rankings in order to make this event to be held at the prestigious Club de Golf Alcanada in Port d’Alcudia.

Garrick is no exception. He is hoping he can recapture the form that took him to Open championship qualification and finish the season strongly. There were some positive signs in Portugal, but he knows he needs more consistency over four rounds to qualify for the lucrative events in China and the Grand Final.

This week there is no event so Garrick has  time to prepare for a very busy three weeks on the road. He currently sits 54th on the Road to Mallorca, so the next three events in France (26th September), Morocco (3rd October) and Ireland (10th October) will really shape his season.

Sponsor Charity Golf Day

After his Open Championship experience at Royal Portrush, Garrick was back on the golf course helping his sponsor, Penny Petroleum, with their charity golf day. The event was a great success and raised over £5000 for the DePaul Charity for the homeless. The weather was absolutely superb and 21 teams enjoyed a great Texas scramble event over the Matfen Hall course in Northumberland.

Teams came from all over the UK and were close business partners of Penny Petroleum. They had the opportunity to ‘Beat the Pro’ (Garrick) at the par 3 10th hole and some individuals managed to do this, for which they received a spot prize!!

Garrick also made a presentation to Dave Penny of Penny Petroleum to thank him for the support he has received over the past two years to further his golf. This was an Open Championship flag from Royal Portrush signed by a number of top professionals. In return, Dave Penny, who attended the Open as Garrick’s guest, has pledged ongoing support to Garrick through to the end of 2020.

Open Experience

Garrick Porteous had a great week as he competed in the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush. The outcome wasn’t quite as he had hoped as he failed to make the cut, but he was in good company with Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.

The Royal Portrush links were magnificent and ultimately led to a great Open Championship. Garrick’s first round was played in some very wet and windy conditions. His 79 (+8) doesn’t really reflect how well he played in the conditions. He managed his nerves very well and apart from a couple of holes his golf was very good on the big stage.

His second round of 73 (+2) was very good indeed. He demonstrated his game was in good shape and that he could compete with the best players in the world. Overall, he was disappointed that he couldn’t make the cut but it has given him some further impetus and motivation to move forward.

Garrick was joined during the week by his coach John Harrison (Matfen Hall) and his sponsor Dave Penny (Penny Petroleum) as well as his family and fiancé Maisie Grant. He had Chris Simmons as his caddie for the week and even managed a practice round with the great Ernie Els! It all led to a great Portrush experience for everyone.

Garrick now has a week off before the Challenge Tour returns with events in Finland (1st August), Denmark (8th August) and then back to Northern Ireland (15th August). Currently sitting 46th in the Challenge Tour rankings Garrick is really looking forward to the next three weeks after his Open experience.

Open Qualification

Garrick Porteous achieved every golfers dream when he qualified for the 148th Open championship at Royal Portrush. Playing in final qualifying at St Annes Old Links in Lancashire, Garrick shot rounds of 67-67 (-10) to head the qualifiers on a blustery and sunny day.

Starting on the back nine in his first round he dropped a shot on his second hole but then produced a superb spell of golf with five birdies in six holes to reach the turn four under par. A one under par back nine meant he finished a five under par for round one and just two shots off the lead, held at that time by Matthew Baldwin.

Garrick’s second round started with real purpose with birdies at the first and third holes. Despite a bogey at the fifth he finished the front nine with two more birdies and an eight under total. The leaderboard was very tight going into those final nine holes, but Garrick held his nerve and managed to birdie his final two holes for a ten under par total.

It was then a matter of waiting for the final groups to complete their rounds. The wait was worth it as Garrick emerged at the top of the leaderboard and a place in the Open Championship starting on the 18th July 2019. Garrick will be joined by Jack Senior and Matthew Baldwin as the other two qualifiers from the field of 72 golfers.

Garrick was delighted with his performance. He said that ‘ the key was my ball striking in tough windy conditions together with my putting. Overall, I played really well and I’m delighted to have qualified. This will be my first major as a professional and I’m looking forward to it’.

There was no time for celebrations afterwards as Garrick drove down to Gatwick to fly out for the D+D REAL Slovakia Challenge. He is hoping this Open qualification can really kick start his season.

Supporting Penny Petroleum

Garrick took time out of his Challenge Tour schedule last week to support his sponsor Dave Penny from Penny Petroleum at the Wooden Spoon Charity golf day at Matfen Hall. Garrick was in fine form as he led the team home to a second place and a team score of 57.9 in the Texas scramble format. He is pictured with team members Richard Calvert, Dave Penny and his father John. Mind you he did not have it easy as he had to revert back to his old amateur handicap of plus five!! Garrick is very grateful to the support he gets from Penny Petroleum and will be further supporting their 25th Anniversary golf day in September.

This week the Challenge Tour resumes and Garrick is off to Switzerland. It is the start of six long weeks on the road that will take him to France, Spain, Italy, Slovakia and then back to France. He will also be squeezing in Open qualifying in early July to this hectic schedule.

Garrick currently sits 56th in the Challenge Tour rankings after four events. He is in confident mood ahead of the Swiss Challenge and is looking forward to some positive weeks.

Season Underway

Garrick Porteous had a positive start to his 2019 Challenge tour season by making the cut in both Turkey and Spain. In his first event of the season he shot 68-66-71-71 (-12) to finish 36th at the Turkish Airlines Challenge. The scoring was very good on the new Samsun Golf Club with the winner Connor Syme shooting 23 under par.

In Garrick’s second event the tour moved to Spain, for the Challenge de Espana at Izki Golf. He played really nicely shooting 75-68-68-74 (-3) to finish tied 27th on a really challenging course. Unfortunately, the following week the putts just wouldn’t drop and he missed the cut at the Prague City Challenge.

He has been home for a week to regroup, re-charge and get ready for this week where he returns to the Czech Republic for the D+D REAL Czech Challenge at the Kaskada Golf Resort in Brno. He currently lies 53rd on the Challenge Tour rankings after three tournaments.

Challenge Tour 2019

Garrick’s long winter break is almost over. The European Challenge Tour resumes next week on 25th April with the Turkish Airlines Challenge at the Samsun Golf Club. This will be the first of 22 events on the Challenge Tour schedule. Garrick will follow this event with the Challenge de Espana at Izki Golf Club on 2nd May and the Prague Golf Challenge at Prague City Golf on 9th May 2019.

Garrick’s winter has gone well with some good tournament performances in Egypt on the Mediterranean Tour. He has backed this up with two good performances on the Big Johnson Tour with a first place at Dunbar (64, -7) and second place at The Castle Course, St Andrews (68, -3). The Challenge Tour will represent a significant step up in level, but Garrick is confident he has trained and prepared well for the forthcoming season.

Garrick is also buoyed by the continuation of sponsorship from Penny Petroleum, the UK’s seventh largest independent forecourt operator, who have agreed to partner with him for the 2019 European Challenge Tour season. This is really good news and both parties are looking forward to a positive season ahead.

Promising Signs

Garrick Porteous is taking advantage of some nice weather and good golf courses in Egypt to prepare and warm up for the 2019 Challenge Tour season. He is currently playing on the Mediterranean Tour opening swing of three tournaments in Cairo.

Playing at the Dreamland Golf Club, Garrick shot 68-70-71 (-7) to finish 9th and get his overseas visit off to a steady start. He said his game was good and it was nice to be back in competition. This good form was evident in tournament two at the Katameya Dunes Golf Club (Lakes course) where he led from start to finish, but eventually lost to fellow Walker Cup player Michael Stewart on the third play off hole. Garrick shot 67-70-69 (-10) and is demonstrating that the winter work is bearing fruit.

He currently lies third on the order of merit with one tournament left in this swing. This will be played over the Palm course at Katameya Golf Club and starts on Saturday 9th February. Then it will be home for more practice and preparation ahead of the main season.

Copyright © 2019 Garrick Porteous.