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Porteous Second in Wales

Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle) came very close to winning the Welsh Open Strokeplay Championships at Royal Porthcawl, 17-19th May, and finally finished runner up. In near perfect conditions Garrick started really well in round one posting 67 (5 under par) to take the clubhouse lead. He maintained that lead through round two with a level par 72, almost holing a 9 iron tee shot at the 11th hole for an ace.

Going out in the last group on the final day, his third round 74 was a little disappointing but he bounced straight back with the best final round 68 for a 7 under par total. He finished four shots behind current European Amateur Champion and fellow GB&I partner, Rhys Pugh, who shot 66-70 on the final day to finish at 11 under par.

Garrick's work with coach Graham Walker and his commitment to practice and fitness work are certainly paying off. The momentum of a top 20 finish in the Lytham Trophy and now an excellent second in the Welsh Amateur augurs well for the forthcoming prestigious amateur events in June and July.

England are European Champions

Garrick Porteous played a significant role in helping England's men team regain the European Nations Championship after overhauling overnight leaders France on the fourth and final day in Sotogrande in Spain. He shot 74-75-70-69 and was the only team member to count in all four rounds. The victory means England has held the title four times in the past five years.

Garrick was joined in the team by Max Orrin, Nathan Kimsey and Toby Tree, with three scores counting out of four on all days of the tournament. England started brightly on day one in very windy conditions and led France by five shots, Tree leading the way with a 68. France bounced back on day two to regain the lead, but England closed the gap to just two shots after round three following fine rounds from Porteous (70), Orrin (71) and Kinsey (71).

The final day saw England go even lower with Orrin (68), Porteous (69) and Tree (71), their best return of the week. Thus enabling them to overhaul France and win the title by six shots.

Individually, Toby Tree finished fifth, Max Orrin and Garrick sixth and Nathan Kimsey 16 th. Overall, this was a very satisfying week for Garrick and the rest of the team.

Australian Golfing Adventures

Garrick's six week golf tour in Australia proved to be very successful. England sent four of the elite squad to compete in a number of major amateur events. Being away in January and February Garrick was fortunate to miss all the snow, wind and rain associated with the British winter. However, he had to contend with playing golf in extreme summer temperatures (over 40C at times) and the tough Melbourne and Sydney wind. In all, it was a great experience with some very satisfying results, which all bodes well for the rest of the year.

The first tournament was the Australian Master of the Amateurs at Royal Melbourne. Against an international field, Garrick quickly overcame his three-month winter layoff and jetlag. His scores of 74-67-72-73 (-2) resulted in him finishing in sixth place. His second event saw him compete in the Australian Amateur. He comfortably qualified in the top 64 of the stroke play (13th) and then embarked onto the match play only to be thwarted in the last 32 round.

Garrick and his three other England internationals then travelled from Melbourne to Sydney to compete in the Lake Macquarie Amateur at Belmont Golf Club. Four very steady rounds of 71-72-71-70 (-4) saw Garrick placed ninth. The New South Wales Amateur followed and Garrick's form continued as he battled for podium honours. He shot 70-67-72 (-4) to finish third and secure his best finish on the tour of Australia. From this event, he progressed into the New South Wales match play and after some early victories, he was finally defeated in the quarter final.

Spain now beckons at the end of February for the Spanish Amateur at La Manga.

New Horizons

Four years of the University of Tennessee golf and study have finally come to an end for Garrick. He graduates with a BA degree in Studio Art alongside a very successful record in collegiate golf. Whilst proud to call himself a Tennessee Volunteer, he is now looking forward to new horizons and new challenges in both life and golf for 2013.

He plans to play the full amateur golf circuit in 2013. As a member of the England Elite squad, he starts his programme with seven weeks in Australia to play in some of their major amateur golf events. He is accompanied by Neil Raymond, Craig Hinton and Nathan Kimsey and they will be playing in the Australian Amateur Championship, the Australian Master of the Amateurs, the Lake Macquarie Amateur and the New South Wales Stroke and Match Play Championships. This will be Garrick's first visit 'down under' and he is looking forward to testing his skills against some of the best amateurs from across the world.

World Team Championship Selection

Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle) has received the biggest accolade in his golf career to date. He has been selected to play for England in the men's amateur World Team Championships. This is the most important and most prestigious tournament in the men's amateur golf calendar. "This is as big as it gets playing for your country as an amateur golfer. It is the biggest prize of all" (England Golf, 2012).

The World Amateur Team Championship is only held every two years and it is contested by 72 countries. The top three amateur golfers from each country are selected. It will be played over two courses, the Antalya club (Sultan Course) and the Cornelia Golf Club, in Turkey from 4-7th October with the best two scores from three counting on all four days.

Garrick (aged 22) is the youngest in the England team which includes current England stars, Neil Raymond (twice Brabazon Champion) ad Craig Hinton (Welsh Amateur Champion). All three players are members of the GB&I team. This will be the most challenging of any competition that Garrick has played in as it features the best amateur golfers in the world.

Garrick's selection comes on the back of some very consistent stroke play performances throughout 2012, including seven top ten finishes in major amateur events both in the UK and overseas. He was also a member of the victorious England team in the European Challenge Trophy in Iceland where he finished tied third in the individual ranking.

England has not won the Eisenhower Trophy since the Home Countries fielded separate teams in 2002 and prior to that GB&I won it in 1998. Live scoring will be available at http://www.worldamateur2012.org/first.asp or http://www.golfstat.com.

Porteous Shines for GB&I

Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle) made a significant contribution to the Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) team as they battled The Continent of Europe for the St Andrews Trophy, 31/8/12 to 1/9/12. Played over the famous Portmarnock links in Dublin, where the rough was up and the wind blew, it was The Continent of Europe who prevailed in a very close contest 12.5-11.5.

Garrick played in all four sessions. On day one, he partnered the current European amateur champion, Rhys Pugh and they played superbly defeating Manuel Trappel and Marcel Schneider 5&4. His good form continued in the afternoon singles where he was up against Tapio Pulkkanen from Finland. Despite losing the first hole after finding a bunker from the tee, he never looked back and was four under par for the next 12 holes winning the match 6&5 in superb style.

Day two saw a re-match of the day one foursomes. This time it was much closer with the lead fluctuating all the time. However, it was the Europeans who prevailed with a par on the 18th hole to secure a two hole victory. In the final afternoon singles, Garrick played Carlos Pigem from Spain. This was to prove to be a classic match. The Spaniard played very solid golf in windy conditions for the first 10 holes and was three up. Garrick responded magnificently with birdies at 12 and 13 and as they boarded the 15th tee he was only one down. His short game came to the fore and he surged ahead after 16 holes. He held his nerve and a superb par at the last ensured a one hole victory. He played all four matches, winning three. He was the highest points scorer along with Craig Hinton for the GB&I team.

Overall, a very rewarding week for Garrick and despite not winning the St Andrews Trophy he can be very pleased with his own performances at this level.

Porteous named in GB&I Team

Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle) has been named in the Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) team for the upcoming St Andrews Trophy at Portmarnock Golf Club, Dublin, Ireland. The match takes place on the 31st August and 1st September 2012. The St Andrews Trophy is a two day Ryder Cup style event against The Continent of Europe. Nine players have made the team based on their performances this year, with five from England, two from Ireland and one each from Scotland and Wales. The biannual trophy is currently held by The Continent of Europe. It is the forerunner to next year's Walker Cup which is to be held in New York.

Garrick's selection is based on some fine performances in 2012, including seven top ten finishes in major amateur events both in the UK and overseas. His form was very much evident at the recent Home Internationals in Scotland, where his most significant result was the defeat of British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar by 6&4. In addition, his current handicap is plus four.

Live scoring will be available on the R&A website at www.randa.org. The press release for the event can be found at http://www.randa.org/en/RandA/News/News/2012/August/Trophy-Teams-Announced.aspx

Home Internationals 2012

The Home Internationals 2012 were staged on the famous links of Glasgow Gailes, Scotland between 15-17thAugust. England were looking to continue their dominance of the event having won the Raymond Trophy for the last three years. Unfortunately, it was not to be with Scotland just edging out Ireland and England on count back.

Garrick was selected for his second Home Internationals and formed a very strong foursomes partnership with Neil Raymond. Going out first, they started very strongly defeating Wales 4&3 on day one, but found the Scottish and Irish pairs just too strong. The clash with the Irish pair of Alan Dunbar and Reeve Whitson was a classic, with both pairs playing superb golf with nine birdies between them. However, Garrick and Neil fell short 3&1.

The singles proved more fruitful for Garrick. He defeated Will Jones from Wales 4&3 before going down by one hole to Jack MacDonald from Scotland. However, he saved the best for last, with a resounding 6&4 victory over the current British Amateur champion, Alan Dunbar of Ireland. His overall Home International record stands at P12 W7 H2 and L3.

European Glory for England

England men's golf team were the clear winners of the European Challenge Trophy in Iceland, 12-14th July. The six man team (with the best five scores each day to count) were 11 shots clear of the Netherlands and this means they regain their place for the European Team Championships in Denmark next year. Full coverage and results are available at http://emcht.golficeland.org/

Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle) made a significant contribution to this victory. He finished tied third with scores of 68-72-70(-3) and was a counter for the team in every round. His colleague Ben Stow won the event on nine under par. Garrick's game was in great shape as he signed for 16 birdies during the week and he commented that 'it was a fantastic experience to play in Iceland and be part of a winning England team'.

Prior to the Icelandic trip, Garrick had been to Portmarnock, Ireland as part of the Great Britain and Ireland squad for the St Andrews Trophy later this year. It proved to be a successful three days familiarising himself with the course and getting to know other squad members. Selection for the team will be determined by the R&A selectors in mid-August.

Garrick now has a short rest before competing as an amateur in his first professional event. England Golf has nominated six players to participate in the English Challenge at Stoke-by-Nayland golf club on 26-29th July. This is a European Challenge Tour event and will be an invaluable experience for Garrick to gauge his game against the professional ranks.

Brabazon Top 10 and Icelandic Selection

The summer of golf continues at pace and Garrick recorded another top ten finish at the English Men's Open Strokeplay Championship for the Brabazon Trophy. Played over the Old Course at Walton Heath, Garrick entered the final round lying 3rd, but eventually had to settle for 7th overall with scores of 73-75-71-76 following a difficult scoring week in very windy conditions. On completion of the final round he commented that "I played solid all week, hit the ball well and gave myself a lot of chances but the birdies just didn't come".

His journey now continues to Hillside near Southport for final qualifying for the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes. It's hoped the birdies will come as qualification is tough with only three golfers progressing from the 72 starters in the field.

Finally, on a really positive note Garrick has been recognised for his good play this year with selection for a six man team who will represent England in the European Men's Challenge Trophy in Iceland 12-14th July. The top three teams in Iceland will go on to compete in the European Men's Team Championship in 2013.

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