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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.

New Sporting Partnership

MHA Tait Walker’s Wealth Management team has entered into a new partnership with professional European Tour golfer Garrick Porteous, to offer support to the sporting community during turbulent times. As golf is now allowed under the new rules as the UK starts to come out of lockdown, the Wealth Management team at MHA Tait Walker felt it was important to support the region’s young, talented sports stars.

Garrick is now set to appear at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood at Close House between 22 and 25th July, his first European Tour tournament since lockdown began in March.

Garrick said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is the most challenging time the sports industry has ever witnessed, and we have all taken a big hit. However, as we return to a new normal, golf is the perfect social distance sport if the return is managed properly. I’m really looking forward to the chance to hone my skills and compete again. I feel very fortunate that I am able to play right now when others can’t. It’s been difficult trying to practice from home and I just feel very lucky that I’m able to improve my game.”

Mark Parkinson, Wealth Management Partner at MHA Tait Walker, said: “As a firm, we are delighted to be able to partner with Garrick and look forward to watching his progress in the coming months. Garrick and his peers have been totally compromised by this pandemic and it is vital that as a regional business, we continue to support the people and communities in which we all live and work.”

The firm’s 70-strong Wealth Management and Tax teams work together to provide specialist advice for clients.

Swing Speed Golf

Golf stopped for Garrick Porteous in March 2020 when the UK and most of the World went into lockdown. All professional and amateur golf was put on hold as the priority became halting the Covid-19 pandemic. The last three months have been unprecedented times and everyone has had to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

Garrick was no different. The lockdown gave him an opportunity to put down his golf clubs and take a break from the game for a number of weeks. Something he has not done for a very long time. It gave him the chance to re-charge his batteries and prepare for golf’s return.

Garrick has not been idle. He quickly organised his back garden with a driving net alongside his putting mat so he could put in some useful practice. He also worked really hard with his Swing Speed Golf trainer.

As a Swing Speed Golf Ambassador Garrick endorses the product and has seen the real benefits in his own golf game. He encourages everyone to put one in their bag and says “I have encouraged my family to use Swing Speed Golf and they have gained 10mph of speed. By following the training programme within a few months the average golfer will see the results and will be hitting it miles!”

European Tour Action Returns

Garrick Porteous returns to European Tour action this week at the Oman Open, which is being staged at the Al Mouj Golf Club, Muscat. Garrick gets under way on Thursday 27th February 2020 with an early tee time of 06.55am. He went out early to Oman to avoid the awful British weather and get some good practice under his belt.

Garrick is at the start of a three-week competitive run where he will play in the Oman Open (February 27th), followed by the Qatar Masters (March 5th) and then the Kenya Open (March 12th). He is looking forward to some sustained golf after a stop-start beginning to 2020.

Garrick is excited that his 2020 season is finally getting into full swing. He is really appreciative of all the support he gets from his sponsors and his coaching team. He is hoping that all the hard work and support will bring positive results in the tournaments ahead.

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.

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