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NBO Grand Final, Oman

As the European Challenge tour draws to a close, Garrick has achieved one of his goals in making the top 45 for the NBO Grand Final in Oman 1-4th November 2017. This will be Garrick’s second visit to the Al Mouj Golf Club in Muscat and he hopes that last years sixth placed finish can inspire him again. He currently lies 35th in the Road to Oman (RTO) rankings with only the top 15 guaranteed a card for the European Tour in 2018.

It has been a long season, with some great memories and achievements for Garrick. He won his first Challenge Tour event in Prague in July and has at times played some great golf. However, it has also been frustrating with either one round or a few holes preventing him finishing in style and higher up the leaderboard.

The last few weeks have seen him play in China and been typical of his season. At the Hainan Open he shot 71-70-69-74 and finished 42nd and then the following week at the Foshan Open he shot 72-72-74-70 and finished 38th. An even better result looked feasible at the Ras Al Kaimah Challenge in the United Arab Emirates where he shot 68-70-68 to lie fourth with one round to go. He felt he put too much pressure on himself in the final round and shot 75 to eventually finish 28th.

As always, Garrick remains very upbeat and positive as he heads to Oman. A top two finish can see him shoot into the top 15 and gain that all elusive European Tour card for 2018. If not, it will be off to Spain for final European Tour Qualifying School at Lumine 11-16th November.

Next Stop Kazakhstan

Garrick’s next stop on the Challenge Tour Road to Oman (RTO) is the Nurtau Golf Club for the Kazakhstan Open 21-24th September. He has played in Kazakhstan the last two years with a 6th placed finish in 2016 and tied 28th in 2015. Hopefully, this upward trend can continue this year as he seeks more points for the RTO rankings.

Garrick’s form has been good of late. He finished 21st in Geneva at the Rolex Trophy on the Challenge Tour. However, he went better the following week at the D+D Real Czech Masters where he shot 70-75-69-68 (-6) to finish tied 14th on the main European Tour. This latter event was a dual ranking event for both tours so it again helped his RTO points total.

The RTO is heading towards the business end of the season. China and the Middle East beckon for the last four events where the top 15 and European Tour status for 2018 will be decided. These events, together with Kazakhstan, are the ‘big’ money events on the Challenge Tour and Garrick knows he is going to have to up his game and play well to achieve his goal for 2017.

Geneva Bound

Garrick Porteous will play the Rolex Trophy, Geneva Golf Club 23-26th August 2017 for the first time. The top 42 players on the Challenge Tour Road to Oman have the opportunity to compete against each other with no cut. It is an excellent chance for Garrick to enhance his position on the rankings as the season heads to its climax.

He will follow Switzerland by another visit to Prague for the D+D Real Czech Masters at the Albatross Gold Resort starting on 31st August. This is a dual ranking event for both the European and Challenge Tours. Garrick will then return to the UK to play in the Bridgestone Challenge at Luton Hoo on 7th September 2017.

Currently 22nd on the Road to Oman, Garrick needs a strong and positive finish to the season. There are a number of big money events still to come as he seeks a top 15 finish in the rankings to achieve European Tour status for 2018.

Porteous wins in Prague

Garrick Porteous sealed a dominant victory at the inaugural Prague Golf Challenge, winning by five shots to claim a maiden European Challenge Tour title. Garrick carried a four-shot lead into the final round and his five under par 67 took him to 24 under par (66-67-64-67) at Prague City Golf, with Julien Guerrier, Christopher Mivis and Bradley Neil in a share of second place.

Having not made a Challenge Tour cut all season, this is a transformative result for the 27 year old, long rated as a hot prospect since winning the Amateur Championship four years ago, as he moves up to 16th place on the Road to Oman. At the turn the lead had been cut, with Guerrier pulling within two strokes, but once again Porteous proved too good on the back nine, which he played in a cumulative 19 under par this week.

“I’m buzzing, it’s great,” he said. “I got off to a comfortable start with three pars and then managed to chip in on four for eagle, which got me going, and it was similar to yesterday. Once I hit the back nine I was comfortable, it was business as usual really – it’s probably my favourite nine holes I’ve ever played, playing them as well as I did!’’

“You get off to a hot start – the tenth is reachable in two, so is 13, and I hit my wedges really well this week, put a lot to inside ten feet, and that gives you the opportunity to make a lot of putts. This result gets my season going because I didn’t have much up in terms of points, and I’m really excited – it was there but it just needed to be all put together and that’s what’s happened this week.’’

“It’s nice to get over the line and win by a comfortable margin, and top 15 is definitely the goal now – at the start of the year the aim was to get into the Rolex Trophy and push on from there, so now I’ve got to try to back that up.”

Garrick now heads for Sardinia and the Italian Challenge which starts on the 13th July 2017. As he said, this result gets his season under way and he will be keen to continue this form in the weeks ahead.

Nike Athlete

Garrick Porteous has joined some of the biggest names in golf by becoming a Nike athlete. He has agreed terms with Nike to wear their golf apparel and footwear for the foreseeable future. He is continuing his excellent relationship with TaylorMade to play their clubs. Garrick said ‘I’m absolutely delighted to now be a Nike athlete. It has always been a dream of mine to represent such an innovative and exciting brand. The clothing and footwear are fantastic and I can’t wait to get started’.

He also said ‘It’s great to be part of the Nike family. My sister works for Nike as an Analytics Director for their Global Supply Chain, based in Portland, Oregon. She has always hoped that one day I would become a Nike athlete. I am privileged to join Nike and I look forward to a successful relationship.’

Garrick’s had a frustrating season to date. A number of missed cuts followed by an injury to his arm have prevented any real momentum. However, he is rested and fit again and will start his Nike future at the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge at Aviemore on the 29th June. This is quickly followed by final Open Championship qualification at Royal Cinque Ports golf club, Deal on the 4th July. He then flies off for two events on the Challenge Tour in Prague on 6th July and Sardinia on the 13th July. He is hoping this run of events can give him some momentum to get his season going.

Positive Signs

Garrick’s 2017 season is about to get into full swing and there are some positive signs that his game is taking shape. Despite a few missed cuts on the main tours he returned to home soil last week to compete in the Lookers Championship at Close House on the Europro Tour.

Rounds of 73-68-70 saw him make the cut and finish tied 16th. Whilst it wasn’t the finish he was looking for, it did demonstrate that he is going in the right direction. More hard work is required, but it should give him some confidence as he heads to Europe again.

Garrick has a week to prepare before he plays two events on the European Tour. The first is the Open de Portugal starting on 11th May, which is followed by The Rocco Forte Open on the 18th May. He then returns to the Challenge Tour for the D+D Real Czech Challenge on the 25th May.

Challenge Tour Starts

Garrick’s season on the European Challenge Tour starts next week when the first tournament of the year opens on 23rd March with the Barclays Kenya Open. The venue is different from 2016 and will see the Challenge Tour return to the Muthaiga Golf Club, Nairobi.

Garrick is excited to return to action after two events in February on the European Tour showed that his winter preparations were heading in the right direction. Whilst he missed the cut In Perth at the World Super 6, he bounced back in fine style to make the cut at the Joburg Open with a second round 65. Rain derailed his third round charge as the tournament was reduced to 54 holes, but the signs were very positive.

After Kenya, Garrick has a three-week gap before the Turkish Airlines Challenge on 20th April. This is quickly followed by The Lookers Championship at Close House on 26th April, which is the first event of the Europro Tour 2017. Naturally, Garrick is really looking forward to playing an event in the North east and in front of his home supporters.

2017 Schedule

Garrick’s 2017 season is about to start in earnest as he attempts to climb the ladder from the European Challenge Tour to the main European Tour. Given his promising finish of 30th on the Road to Oman last year, Garrick has planned his schedule to take advantage of his categories on both tours. He also hopes to benefit from a change in the rules where playing some European Tour events and the points accrued will count towards both tour order of merits.

Garrick has had a productive winter. He has had a well-earned rest, trained and practiced hard and is now ready to test his form in tournament play. His first tournament is on the European Tour ‘Down Under’ at the ISPS Handa World Super 6 in Perth, Australia (16-19th February). He hopes this will be quickly followed by two further European Tour events in South Africa if his tour category permits. These will be the Joburg Open (23-26 February) and the Tswane Open (2-5 March).

The European Challenge Tour starts in Kenya in March and Garrick will be teeing it up in Nairobi again. He then plans to play predominantly on the Challenge Tour alongside one co-sanctioned event between both tours (Open de Portugal) and three other European Tour events that count for both tours (Italy, Austria and Czech Republic).

To assist Garrick in his preparations and practice for 2017 he has secured access to Close House. This will allow him full use of the excellent practice facilities and their two quality golf courses. In return, Garrick is delighted to be playing in the first Europro tournament of the year being staged at Close House from 26-28th April 2017.

Garrick is confident his experiences of last year on the European Challenge Tour will stand him in good stead for the forthcoming season. He is preparing as well as he can and really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. The schedule is in place and Garrick is determined and focused to realise his goals for the season.

Tour Experience

Ever fancied playing 9 holes with a tour professional? Now is you chance – play 9 holes with Garrick, learn his strategies and more about course management, plus a host of other insights. Please see the poster below and contact Garrick if you are interested.

Reflections 2016

After 23 events and 17 countries Garrick’s 2016 season is over. Overall, this has been a very positive season for Garrick. He finished 30th on the Challenge Tour Road to Oman rankings which is a significant improvement from 48th in 2015.

Garrick nearly entered the winner’s circle when he finished second in the Red Sea Egyptian Challenge in April. A further three more top ten finishes helped shape a very consistent season with 65% of cuts made and 64% of rounds at par or better. His scoring average of 70.77 was slightly ahead of 2015 (71.04) and was reflected in a cumulative 67 under par for all events played.

2016 saw a number of highlights for Garrick. In May, he joined the ‘Class of 2016’ established by his management company, International Sports Management to support and sponsor talented golfers. In July, he shot an incredible 61 (11 under par) at the Slovakia Challenge to record a new course record. This included nine birdies, one eagle and eight pars. Finally, in November he qualified and played in the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final in Oman. Rounds of 67-71-67-70 saw Garrick finish seventh and end the Challenge Tour season on a very positive note.

Ultimately, Garrick fell short of his goal and top 15 on the Road to Oman rankings for a European card in 2017. However, because of his 30th position, he has status on both the Challenge Tour (category 6) and the European Tour (category 18) for 2017. The journey continues and Garrick will be working harder than ever on all aspects of his game and fitness to prepare for 2017.

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