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Down Under

Garrick Porteous returns to European Tour action this week when he competes in the ISPS Handa Vic Open at the 13th Beach Golf resort in Geelong near Melbourne. This is a unique event as it features both men’s and ladies European Tour events being staged on the same golf course at the same time.

The ISPS Handa Vic Open brings together the men's and women's professional game, with two tournaments being played concurrently on the same golf courses for a purse of AUD$3million split equally. Men and women compete in alternating men's and women's groups on the Beach and Creek courses at 13th Beach Golf Links, with a 36-hole cut seeing players progress to a weekend on the Beach Course. There is then another cut after the third round and two champions are crowned at the close of play on Sunday.

Garrick is excited to be playing again. He competed three weeks ago in the South African Open, shooting 72-70 (-2) to narrowly miss the cut, but felt his game was in good shape. After some good preparation and training at home he is now ready to see how his game fares under competition. Garrick starts on the Beach course at 07.50 am on Thursday 6th February followed by the Creek course at 12.40pm on Friday 7th February.

Great Start to 2020

Garrick’s year started in spectacular style when he married his fiancé Maisie Grant at Ellingham Hall, Northumberland on Saturday 4th January 2020. Over 100 guests including their families and friends joined them and they both described the day as the “best of their lives”. However, there was no time for a honeymoon at the moment and no time for rest either.

Maisie went back to teaching this week, whilst her new husband jetted off to Johannesburg for the South African Open at Rand Park which starts on 9th January 2020. These are exciting times for both of them and they can look forward to their honeymoon at Easter.

Alfred Dunhill Championship

Garrick Porteous made a fantastic start to his rookie season on the European Tour. He finished tied 11th at the Alfred Dunhill Championship played at Leopard Creek Country Club, South Africa.

Garrick opened with a 66 (-6) making six birdies in a blemish-free round to be tied second. He said:

“I was just at Q-School last week, and just got my card, so it’s great to start with a bogey-free six-under. I was just trying to plot my way round. I did that very well last week for six rounds at Q-School, but to bring it to a tournament is exciting.”

“I’m sharp and in a good frame of mind, but it’s a lot of golf, so you’re pretty tired. But with minimal time difference from England travelling down, it’s not a big issue. I’ve been here before in 2014, so I know what to expect – it’s such a great place. I really enjoy it.”

Leopard Creek was playing the toughest it had ever been on the European Tour with a score average of 74.34 throughout the week.

Garrick followed up his opening 66 with a pair of 75’s to leave him tied 17th going into the final round. He played really well on day four shooting 70 (-2) to finish the tournament tied 11th and just miss out on a top 10 spot.

Garrick is now looking forward to some ‘down time’, rest and preparing for further tournaments in January. He knows the hard work will have to continue if he wishes to maintain this level of performance in 2020.

European Tour 2020

Garrick Porteous flew home from Spain yesterday and reflected on his fantastic achievement of securing a European Tour card for 2020. Garrick said:

“I have been dreaming of this moment to play on the European Tour ever since I started playing golf. You idolise the people you watch on TV, for me to be there and to be representing Bamburgh Castle GC on a global stage, once again, is a very special thing to me”.

He went onto say:

“I can't describe the emotional ups and downs I went through during Q School. It's a tournament that dictates how your whole year/career can turn out. But to play that well under those circumstances shows how far I've come”.

He reiterated his love for Bamburgh Castle Golf club by saying:

“I look forward to seeing all the friendly faces up at the golf club soon, you're support and interest over the years has been second to none, and I appreciate it very much. Here's to a great season in 2020!”

Garrick has time for a few days rest before he sets out on the 2020 season. He travels to South Africa next week for the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopards Creek Country Club that starts on the 28th November 2019. A venue he knows well as he finished tied 14th in this event in 2013 when competing as an amateur.

European Tour Card

Garrick Porteous produced his best golf of the season to achieve a life long dream and earn a card for the European Tour 2020 season. In the marathon event of final stage qualifying at Lumines Golf Club, Tarragona, Spain, Garrick finished tied 13th out of 156 golfers over six rounds. Only 25 and ties earn their card and Garrick was absolutely delighted to have achieved his goal for the year.

Garrick shot rounds of 70-71-70-68-68-67 (-14), one of only eight golfers to record six under par rounds over the Lakes and Hills courses at Lumine Golf Club. He made the cut after four rounds at 7 under par and in 30th position. He then finished strongly with 68 (-3) and 67 (-4) in the final two rounds to finish tied 13th. He can now look forward to playing on the European Tour in 2020 and challenging some of the best players in the world.

Garrick is going to enjoy his achievement but realises that the hard work starts again as the level of competition will increase on the main tour. He is relishing the opportunity and he is indebted to all the people who have helped him this season and in particular Dave Penny (Penny Petroleum– sponsor), Puma and Cobra golf (apparel and equipment), John Harrison (Golf coach – Matfen Hall), Nick Grantham (Strength & Conditioning coach – Zero226) and Darren Wigg (Physiotherapist – Newcastle Physiotherapy).

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.

Copyright © 2020 Garrick Porteous.
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