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Warming Up in the Canaries

Garrick Porteous left the cold North East of England in mid-April to resume competition on the European Tour. He had hoped for warmer weather in Vienna for the Austrian Open, but was greeted with extremely cold conditions very similar to his native Newcastle.

However, despite an opening 75 (+3) in very cold and windy conditions, Garrick found his form and produced three great rounds to shoot 68-71-69 (-8) to finish in a tie for 15th place. His golf went from strength to strength the following week as he landed in Gran Canaria where the warm sunny conditions were to his liking. He shot 68-67-67-65 (-13) to finish tied 29th in a very low scoring event.

Garrick and the Tour then moved to the Island of Tenerife for the Tenerife Open and the Canary Islands Open, both to be held at Golf Costa Adeje. His good form continued with opening rounds of 70-69 (-3) in the Tenerife Open. However, it wasn’t enough to make the cut, which fell at four under. He will be hoping for some lower scoring in his next event, the Canary Island Open that starts on Thursday 6th May.

He then returns to the UK for the British Masters to be held at The Belfry, Birmingham starting on Wednesday 12th May.

Good Start to 2021

Garrick Porteous made a good start to his 2021 European Tour season with a three-week trip to Qatar and Kenya. Despite lockdown and a lack of on-course practice, Garrick opened with a 69 (-2) in Qatar. However, his second round was played in a sandstorm and strong winds and he missed the cut.

Buoyed by his positive start he moved onto Karen Country Club, Nairobi, Kenya for two tournaments. In the Magical Kenya Open, Garrick shot 71-68 (-3) to make his first cut of the season. He followed that with a strong weekend shooting 67-66 (-9) to finish tied 16th.

After one days recovery the Kenya Savannah Classic started on the same course. Garrick made the cut again shooting 69-68 (-5) in the first two rounds and then followed that with a 64 (-7) in round three to move into contention. However, his final round 73 (+2) didn’t match his earlier form and he finished tied 38th.

Overall, there were a lot of positive signs and he is pleased with his new Titleist clubs. Garrick knows more hard work is needed and he is preparing well ahead of the Austrian open starting on 15th April. He then travels to Gran Canaria and Tenerife, before heading back to England for the British Masters at the Belfry on May 12th.

Charitable Support

Garrick’s 2021 season on the European Tour will see him support The Sick Children’s Trust based across the UK. The Sick Children’s Trust is a charity that gives families one less thing to worry about by giving them a place to stay, and someone to talk to, free of charge just minutes from their child’s bedside.

Their ten ‘Homes from Home’ support almost 3,800 families from around the UK each year with warm and comfortable accommodation and a friendly ear to listen.

Garrick will be part of the Toon Council who raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust. The Toon Council is comprised of leading creative and business figureheads in the North East region. It was formed to support poorly children cared for by The Sick Children’s Trust to raise funds for the RVI (Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle) Charity.

Garrick is planning a charity golf day at his home golf club Bamburgh Castle on Friday 24th September in addition to supporting other fund raising events throughout the year. His support will also be clearly visible on his golf bag during the 2021 European tour season.

Garrick continues his European Tour season this week (18/3/21) with the Magical Kenya Open at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi. He follows that with the Kenya Savannah Classic at the same venue on 23rd March and is keen to build on some positive signs from his visit to Qatar last week.

European Tour Returns

Garrick is delighted to get his 2021 European Tour season underway on 11th March in the Qatar Masters in Doha. After missing out on the first three events on the schedule, he is really looking forward to returning to competition. This event will be followed with two further tournaments in Nairobi, Kenya.

Garrick’s last event was in December 2020 in South Africa, so he is keen to see where his golf game is at after ‘lockdown’ and the enforced break. He has prepared as best he can but there is no substitute for competition golf to assess his current form and build some momentum.

However, he is taking a positive view of both life and golf as a full schedule on the European tour in 2021 has been announced.

Garrick has signed a two-year deal with Titleist to play their latest equipment alongside the Pro V1 ball he has played for the last two years. He also has a new sponsor for the 2021 season in The Bazaar Group, an international company based in Northumberland, founded and managed by Jayne and Mark Dolder.

He is also grateful for the continued support from Penny Petroleum, MHA Tait Walker and businessman Brian Walker. He hopes that with this new and continued support he can really establish himself on the European tour in 2021.

Reflections on the 2020 Season

The curtain came down on Garrick’s 2020 season with three weeks in South Africa playing in Johannesburg, Leopard Creek and Sun City. It was not quite the finish he was looking for with only one cut made and a 47th place in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek. However, it was further experience gained playing on the European Tour.

Reflecting on the season Garrick was very excited at the outset. Back in November 2019, he successfully gained his European Tour card at qualifying school for the 2020 season. Five years as a pro and he had finally done it! He felt confident about the year ahead and what he had been working on with his coaches John Harrison (swing & short game coach), Nick Grantham (strength & conditioning), Darren Wigg (physiotherapist) and Andy Paisley (putting coach).

The first event of his 2020 season started in Leopard Creek GC in South Africa, one of his favourite places to go and play. He successfully finished 11th and it was a great start to the year. A series of missed cuts followed and then in March, Covid-19, lockdown and bubble became the key words. The 2020 schedule stopped for over three months.

The light at the end of the tunnel came in the form of the UK Swing, starting at Close House GC. It was amazing for Garrick to tee it up in a local event on the highest stage. The final day was not his best but after four months off he would have taken it.

The European Tour bubble is an excellent model for safety but it has been a strange existence for many and Garrick was no different. He commented:

“That's why I have had my wife, my dad or one of my mates carrying my bag so we can have a bit of banter and a laugh. It has been very noticeable that quite a lot of the players are doing this now because things are socially different on tour and you don't get the opportunity to interact with everyone”.

He went on to say:

“I think this is why it helped me so much at the Scottish Championship at Fairmont St Andrews. My relaxed attitude all week helped me to finish 4th, the best result I've ever had on the European Tour. I felt so comfortable that final day playing in the last group. It’s always something you work towards, but you can never replicate that experience unless you are in the heat of battle. There were so many positives to take from that week!”

Garrick is very fortunate to be in the position of keeping his card for the 2021 season. It’s almost been like having a taster year out on the European Tour before the real show begins in January. He has learnt so much about himself and his game that he can use moving forward. He believes the biggest thing for him is consistency.

Not everyone sees the amount of hard work that goes into performing at the highest stage. Garrick is very lucky to have the support network he has to push him forward. Additionally, to compete on the European Tour he could not do what he does without his sponsors Puma, Cobra, Titleist, Penny Petroleum, Brian Walker and MHA Tait Walker. Their support to him from the get go has been amazing and he cannot thank them enough.

Garrick finished 145th on the Road to Dubai and he knows next year it will be for real. He is fired up to learn the lessons from 2020, work hard and get ready to retain his European Tour card in 2021.

Cyprus Swing

Garrick’s latest journey on the European Tour 2020 took him and the Tour to Cyprus for the very first time and the amazing Aphrodite Hills resort near Paphos. Buoyed by his fourth placed finish in the Scottish Championship he went with his confidence high looking for another good two weeks on tour.

The course winds its way up, down and across the ravines that make it a stunning setting overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The players were all in agreement that it was a fantastic venue and the golf course was in great condition.

Alas, Garrick missed the cut in week one shooting 70-72 for level par, where the format was the regular 72-hole medal. Week two was a ‘Shootout’ with the first cut being reduced to only 32 players after 36 holes. Garrick shot 70 (-1) in round one, but showed some aggressive and positive signs in round two as he tried to go low to make the cut at six under par! Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for him.

It’s now a week off to coincide with re-scheduled Masters tournament before travelling down to South Africa for three events to finish the 2020 season. Garrick is very upbeat about his game and the lessons he is learning this year on the European Tour, which he hopes, will bode well for the future.

Top 5 Finish

Garrick Porteous produced his best ever finish on the European Tour when he placed tied fourth at the Scottish Championship at Fairmont St Andrews. Garrick started the tournament with a 66 (-6) and followed it up with a 69 (-3) to make his third cut in a row. On moving day, he produced a scintillating front nine to move to the top of the leaderboard ensuring he received plenty of coverage from Sky Sports. He eventually shot another 66 in round three to lie in second position going into the final round.

Playing in the final three ball on a Sunday on the European Tour is where all professional golfers want to be. It was a great spot to be for Garrick and just shows his game is trending in the right direction after two good tournaments in Portugal and Ireland.

There were some nerves, but after a steady start to the final round he rolled in three birdies in a row from the fourth hole to catch the overnight leader, Matt Wallace. It was all tight at the top as Garrick, Matt Wallace and Adrian Otaegui vied for victory over the final nine holes. Ultimately, it was the Spaniard who came out on top with some excellent golf in a final round of 63. Garrick finished fourth with a final round 71 (-1) to shoot 16 under par for the tournament.

Garrick was really pleased with his performance and he will have learnt a lot from the experience. He is looking forward to his next tournament and the challenges that lie ahead buoyed by this confidence filled performance.

Challenging Times

These are certainly challenging times and for sport and golf that is no different. Garrick is enjoying being back in European Tour competition and he is learning all the time.

After a very positive start to the UK Swing in his first two tournaments, he missed the cut in the next event, The English Championships. His golf was good, but despite shooting 71-68 (-3) the cut fell at five under which demonstrates the standard on the European Tour.

Garrick’s final two events on the UK Swing were at Celtic Manor and The Belfry. He struggled with life in the bubble and his form wasn’t at the level required and he missed both cuts. However, he was buoyed by the next series of events in Spain and Portugal.

Valderrama proved a very difficult test on the European Tour this year with strong winds, thick rough and firm greens. The cut fell at +8 that demonstrates the difficulty the players faced. Garrick played well at times but not well enough to make the cut. However, the experience will prove useful for future visits.

Garrick’s final event on the Iberian Swing was the Portugal Masters at Vilamoura. He played really well in the first two rounds shooting 70-69 (-3) to make his first cut in five events. He then moved further forward in round three shooting 69 to stand at -5 (tied 20th) going into the final round. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite happen for him on the final day as he shot 73 (+2) to finish 44th.

Garrick is very upbeat about the last few weeks. He is learning all the time and working hard to develop his game to compete on the European Tour. He now has a week off before playing in the Irish Open At Galgorm Castle, Northern Ireland on the 24th September 2020.

Promising Start to UK Swing

Garrick has made a very positive start to the UK Swing as golf returns to the European Tour in 2020. He has made both cuts in the two tournaments played so far and is delighted to be back on the course.

Garrick made a scintillating start to the Betfred British Masters at Close House shooting 65 (-6) in the first round to be tied second. Anticipation was high for a top ten finish on “home turf” but despite making the cut he didn’t sustain that early form and finally finished tied 61st.

In the second event, the Hero Open at the Forest of Arden Garrick finished tied 22nd shooting 70-72-72-65 (-9). His final round included seven birdies and an eagle and has given him added motivation and momentum ahead of the English Championship at Hanbury Manor.

Tournament Golf Returns

It is more than three months since Garrick Porteous teed it up in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in March 2019. However, he is about to resume his professional golf career with three mini tour events before the European Tour resumes on the 22 July 2020.

Garrick is playing in the 2020 Pro Tour at Oulton Hall Golf Club, Leeds on Monday 15th June and at Wakefield Golf Club on Monday 6th July. He is also playing on the Pro Clutch Tour in one of their major events at Hollinwell Golf Club, Nottingham on Monday 29th June. These are all 18-hole events but will be useful for Garrick to get some much-needed practice in a competition.

The European Tour will return to action initially behind closed doors in July and run through until December. All tournaments will be subject to stringent safety and testing protocols set out in the Tour’s comprehensive Health Strategy which will continue to evolve, aligned with international Government guidance and health guidelines.

The first tournament in the ‘UK Swing’ is the Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood, which will be played at Close House, near Newcastle in the north east of England, from Wednesday July 22 to Saturday July 25 – a week earlier than originally scheduled.

It will be followed by the English Open at the Marriott Forest of Arden and the English Championship at Marriott Hanbury Manor, before The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport hosts back-to-back European Tour tournaments – the Celtic Classic and the Wales Open.

It is a timely return to the south Wales resort as this year also marks the tenth anniversary of Europe’s dramatic victory against the United States in The 2010 Ryder Cup at the same venue.

The UK Swing will then conclude with the UK Championship at The Belfry, another venue rich in Ryder Cup history, having played host to four contests with Europe triumphing in two (1985 and 2002), the US having won in 1993, with the 1989 match ending in a 14-14 tie.

Garrick is really looking forward to the ‘UK Swing’ on the European Tour and getting back into competition. There is plenty of motivation with the first event right at home in the north east of England.

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