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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.

New Start for 2019

Garrick Porteous is really looking forward to 2019. After reflecting on a relatively consistent season last year Garrick is putting things in place to make 2019 more successful.

Garrick is changing club and ball manufacturers. After 10 years with his previous company he is excited to be playing the new F9 Cobra irons and woods this season. Garrick commented that the recent tests with the clubs showed very positive signs and he is looking forward to putting them in play. He is also going to be playing the new Titleist Pro V1x this season.

Whilst the Challenge Tour does not officially start until May, Garrick is off to warmer climes to make sure his game is ready. He is playing in the Mediterranean Tour opening series of events in Egypt (29/1/19 – 11/2/19). This involves three 54 hole events in 16 days and further information on his progress can be found at Mediterranean Tour

Garrick is also working hard with his new coaching team. He felt that the work done with John Harrison (Matfen Hall) on his swing and Andy Paisley (Hexham) on his putting made significant progress last year. He is hoping that the work done over the winter will bear fruit in 2019.

Like all other professional golfers Garrick is training hard on his fitness and working hard on his game. He wants to be better than before. Having finished 70thon the Road to Ras Al Khaimah rankings last year he is determined to work as hard as he can this year and see what can be achieved.

Q School Beckons

Garrick Porteous completed his final event on the Challenge Tour at the Irish Challenge, when it was played over the wonderful layout at Concra Woods. Garrick played really well on a difficult course to shoot 68-72-76-70 (-2) to finish 14th overall. However, it wasn’t sufficient for him to move up the rankings on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah and enter the two lucrative events in China.

Garrick finished 70th on the rankings for the Challenge Tour season which means he will retain his card with category 10 status for next year. He has played consistently, making 13 cuts in 17 tournaments, but more top ten finishes were needed to boost his ranking.

Garrick’s season is not finished as the final stages of the European Tour Q School beckon. He starts at Stage 2 on the 2nd November where he will be playing at El Encin in Madrid. If successful, he will move to Stage 3 on the 10th November at Lumine Golf Club, Tarragona, Spain. It’s still all to play for and Garrick is hoping that the rest and preparation ahead of Stage 2 and 3 can bring the required result.

The Final Push

Garrick enters the final stages of the European Challenge Tour season with the need for a strong finish. He currently lies 71st on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah, with potentially only four events left to make the top 45 and the Grand Final on 31st October 2018.

After four missed cuts in Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic and France, Garrick has shown some much needed form. He played well in the Bridgestone Challenge at Luton to finish 53rd and backed this performance the following week with a 14th position finish in the Kazakhstan Open. Garrick shot 70-68-67-68 (15 under) and demonstrated some good form as he heads to France this week for the Hopps Open de Provence.

There are still two lucrative tournaments to come in China but Garrick needs top 60 status on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah to ensure he is in the starting field for these events. So his focus is all about France this week with an aim of moving further up the rankings.

Main Tour Start

Garrick Porteous turns his attention to the main European Tour this week as he starts in the Porsche European Open (26/7/18). This is his first start on the main tour since February after focusing mainly on the Challenge Tour. The event is being played at the Green Eagle Golf Course in Hamburg, Germany and features a host of star names. He is excited to be playing and hoping it can give him that motivation to take his game up a level for the remainder of the season.

Garrick’s season has been one of consistency on the Challenge Tour. He has made nine out of 11 cuts and currently sits at 68thon the Road to Ras Al Khaimah. He also played nicely in Final Open Qualifying at The Renaissance Club, Lothians but fell two places short of that elusive Open spot.

After Hamburg, Garrick has two Challenge Tour events in Sweden and Finland to improve his rankings and qualify for the lucrative Rolex Trophy in Geneva. Following that there are a potential eight events remaining for him to gain enough points to find a top 15 spot on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah and automatic promotion to the European Tour. He is confident and his game is good. He just needs to find that winning formula that brought him victory in Prague last year.

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