Garrick Porteous saved his best golf until the end of the season as he achieved his card for the 2024 DP World Tour. It was his third visit in the last five years to final stage Q School and the outcome was the same, full playing rights for the 2024 season.
Garrick finished 219th on the Race to Dubai after the normal 2023 season and by his own admission had not really played his best. That meant he had to join the other hopeful qualifiers for Stage Two in Spain which started on Thursday 2nd November. He was allocated a place at Desert Springs golf club near Almeria. Garrick opened up with 69-73-71 (-3) in very windy conditions meaning he needed a really good final round to join the 23 qualifiers to progress to final stage. He shot 67 (-5) and finished tied 19th which meant he had to come back on Monday 6th November where eight players played off for five spots.
Garrick played nicely in the play-off but alas fell short and was the last player knocked out. 24th position meant he was second alternate for final stage and unlikely to get a spot. However, by a stroke of luck later that day he received an email saying he was into final stage and the journey to securing his card again was back on.
Four days later Garrick and his caddy John were ready to go again for the six-round marathon at Infinitum Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain. 156 golfers play two rounds each on the Lakes and Hills course at Infinitum and then the field is cut to the best 70 players and ties. Garrick played nicely in those rounds to shoot 69-69-73-66 (-9) to be lying in the top 35. On moving day, round five, Garrick shot 66 (-5) to move into the top 25 and be in a position to secure his card on the final day.
Round six was a very tense affair. On the front nine very few birdie opportunities presented themselves and with one three putt on hole eight it meant that Garrick turned one over par. At that moment the cut for the top 25 and ties was -14, meaning that Garrick needed to play the back nine under par. The pressure was mounting. A similar nine followed with good par saves and solid putting leading to Garrick boarding the 18th tee needing a birdie to qualify on the mark of -14. He hit a really solid drive followed by a rapier six iron to 12 feet on the par five 18th. He then rolled in the putt for an eagle to move to -15 and secure his Tour status for 2024.
The emotions came flooding out as he realised again the enormity of what had been achieved. Three weeks in Spain had resulted in one of the most amazing finishes on the 108th hole of the tournament. He now has an opportunity in 2024 to realise his potential and avoid the Q School drama next year. Garrick is taking a couple of weeks off before starting his 2024 season in South Africa at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek followed by the Mauritius Open.