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Road to Oman

Garrick Porteous produced four sub-par rounds in the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final at the Almouj Golf Resort in Muscat, Oman. He shot 68-71-67-70 to finish tied seventh on 12 under par and was delighted with the way he played. Whilst this elevated him from 36th to 30th on the Road to Oman rankings it wasn’t sufficient to claim a European Tour card for 2017.

However, the last six weeks on the Challenge Tour have been very fruitful for Garrick. He has shown further encouraging signs with two top ten finishes and his game continues to progress well.

He now has a few days rest before heading to Spain and PGA Catalunya to embark on European Tour Final Qualifying School. This takes place 12-17th November and the top 25 players will earn their European Tour cards for 2017.

Oman Bound

After five weeks on the road in Kazakhstan (6th), Italy, China (32nd and 44th) and the United Arab Emirates (16th) Garrick is bound for Oman to play in the season-ending NBO Golf Classic Grand Final. He set off on 2nd October 2016 52nd in the Road to Oman (Challenge Tour) rankings and now currently sits 36th. He has made four cuts out of five and produced some good golf to move steadily up the rankings. Overall, he is very satisfied with the way he has been playing and delighted to make the Grand Final, which takes place 2-5th November at the Al Mouj Golf in Muscat.

Oman provides the last chance to secure a card for the European Tour 2017 season in regulation tournament play. The top 16 on the Road to Oman will secure their cards whilst the remaining 30 golfers will go to the Final Stage of Qualifying School at PGA Catalunya, Spain 12-17th November.

Garrick’s 2016 season has been very positive with some excellent golf and results. The final two events still provide an opportunity to realise his dream for 2017.

Challenge Tour Returns

After a two week break the European Challenge Tour returns to action with the Kazakhstan Open on the 29th September 2016. Garrick has been enjoying the break, resting and practicing ahead of a potentially very busy six weeks.

After Kazakhstan the tour moves to Italy, followed by two events in China and then the final two events in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. This is the business end of the season with some of the most lucrative events still to come. Garrick currently lies 52nd on the Road to Oman, but with some good form and results the opportunity to claim a European Tour spot for 2017 is still alive.

New Course Record

Garrick Porteous shot an incredible 61 (11 under) to record a new course record in the final round of the Slovakia Challenge at the Penati Golf Resort. Garrick was out in the second match of the day and recorded nine birdies, one eagle and eight pars as he eclipsed his compatriot Ben Stow’s mark of 63 by two shots. His eagle came at the European Tour’s longest hole, the 15th, which is a par six of 783 yards.

This was Garrick’s lowest ever score in competitive and professional golf to date. He had shot a 58 (10 under) on his home course of Bamburgh Castle a month ago, but there wasn’t the pressure of a competitive round.

Garrick had felt his game had been good in recent tournaments, but without the resulting success. This round can provide the confidence and spring board for his next two events on the European Challenge Tour in France (21-24th July) and Northern Ireland (28-31st July). He currently lies 35th on the Road to Oman and firmly believes that he can realise the dream of a European Tour card.

Class of 2016

International Sports Management (ISM) launched a pioneering sponsorship scheme this week to help prestigious businesses support our Class of 2016 on the road to success. Garrick is one of the up and coming quintet from within the ISM stable who will benefit from investment, unrivalled networking and a golf day. The partners include:

DWB Wealth Consultancy (Wealth Management), Enterprise (Car Rental), GoPro (Action Cameras), Irish Biltong Co (Food), London Sport Exchange (Finance & Investments), MyProtein (Nutrition), Pond Mobile (Mobile Operator), Savills (Estate Agent), The Entertainer (Discount Publisher), Adaris (FX) and TW Steel (Luxury). These companies will all back the youngsters as they embark on seasons that will prove crucial to their golfing futures.

Garrick is playing on the Challenge Tour, while the other four golfers will be looking to underline their growing reputations on the EuroPro Tour. They will all wear the Class of 2016 logo as they set off on their exciting journeys.

ISM Chief Executive Officer Chubby Chandler said: “We believe this is a great way to connect new partners with our best young talent. They will be involved in every step and share the highs and lows of what promises to be a memorable year for these young lads, who have bags of potential. The boys are really buying into the ethos of the whole thing and who knows? In years to come these companies may be able to boast about having been involved with one of the world’s leading players at the very start.”

Garrick is delighted with the new partners and sponsors. He believes this will provide that additional support to realise his dream of a place on the European Tour for 2017. Next week sees Garrick return to action in the D+D Real Czech Challenge at the Golf and Spa Kuneticka Hora starting on Thursday 26th May.

Egyptian Promise

Garrick produced a fantastic final round 68 to finish tied second as the European Challenge Tour (ECT) returned to action with the Egyptian Challenge, 20-23rd April in the Red Sea resort of Suez. After five weeks since he made the cut at the Barclays Kenya Open Garrick had been practising and training hard to prepare well for Egypt. This was evident over all four days and it was great to see him challenging and playing well when he was in contention.

Garrick’s preparation was rewarded with his best finish to date on the ECT. He shot 69-69-66-68 to shoot 16 under par and finish two shots behind the winner, and good friend Jordan Smith. His strategy worked well all week and he backed up his 20 birdies with only four bogies in 72 holes.

This result will bolster his confidence as the ECT now gets into full swing. Garrick now has a week at home to prepare for the Turkish Airlines Challenge 5-8th May followed by a new event in Italy, the Montecchia Open 12-15th May.

Positive Start to 2016

Garrick made a very positive start to the 2016 season when he finished sixth at the Dimensions Data ProAm at Fancourt in South Africa. After three months away from competitive golf, he was using the tournament to gauge his preparation for the European Challenge Tour season, which starts in March. The signs appear to be encouraging as he carded four sub-par rounds 69-66-70-67 to finish on 17 under par.

This is one of the key events on the Sunshine Tour and this was in evidence with the strong international field. Garrick really enjoyed the week getting in some good warm weather practice as well as four competitive rounds over three excellent golf courses. He also saw his team finish eighth in the proam event.

Garrick realises there is still much work to be done ahead of the Barclays Kenya Open in March. He is confident after this result and really looking forward to the season opener.

Getting Ready for 2016

The 2016 European Challenge Tour golf season is nearly upon us and Garrick is building up for the start. He will play in the first event, The Barclays Kenya Open in Nairobi on 17th March, before heading to Egypt, Turkey and Italy in April and early May to really get his season underway.

Prior to these events he is planning some warm weather golf where he will test his game in South Africa at the Dimensions Data Pro-Am at Fancourt, 17-21st February. This will then be followed by his first taste of the famous Sunningdale Foursomes in early March where he will partner his good friend Imran Aziz from the George Washington GC.

Garrick’s winter has been most productive. He has been working hard on his golf game with coach Graham Walker at Walkers Golf Academy and also on the range at Longhirst. His physical conditioning is under the watchful eye of Nick Grantham at ZERO226. He is increasing his power, strength and fitness in readiness for the rigors of another full season on the European Challenge Tour. Darren Wigg at Newcastle Physiotherapy is ensuring that his flexibility, stability and balance remain as they should be to cope with all the golf, training, competing and travel.

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.

First Year Reflections

As the year draws to a close, so does the golf season and Garrick can reflect on a relatively good first full year as a professional. He fell short of his desired outcome and a category for the full European Tour. However, the signs are good and if he learns the lessons from this year there is no reason why this goal cannot be achieved in 2016. Garrick has one final event at the Beko Pro Am at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf & Spa Resort, Turkey 3-5th December 2015.

The Challenge Tour is a very tough school, with some very good players. Whilst Garrick failed to enter the winners circle he achieved four top ten finishes out of 18 events and placed 48th on the Road to Oman. Ultimately, this was to be three places short of automatic entry to the final tournament in Oman and the third stage of Q School. However, based on this position he has secured category 10 status for the Challenge Tour in 2016 and will play all events.

Garrick showed some really good form in May and June and his scoring average was a very creditable 69.83. He was unable to sustain this form and his final average for the season was 71.04 over 62 rounds. His ability to make birdies is without question, with a final tally of 276, averaging 4.45 per round. If he can maintain this in 2016 and reduce the number of bogies with more consistent golf then his goal can be realised.

Garrick has demonstrated he can live at this level of professional golf with 63% of cuts made and 69% of rounds at par or better. With the experience he has gained alongside knowledge of the courses they play he is confident of stepping up a level in 2016. He has really enjoyed the challenge and the journey in his first year. He is upbeat, determined, realistic and looking forward to realising his dream next year.

4th in Irish Challenge

Garrick secured his best finish to date as a professional in the Volopa Irish Challenge at Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa and Golf Resort. He carded 23 birdies over four sub-par rounds. His scores of 70-69-69-67 resulted in 13 under par total for a fourth placed finish.

This result boosts his confidence as he travels to China for the Foshan Open 22-25th October 2015. Garrick currently sits at 44th position in the Road to Oman rankings. Hopefully, this result will give him the impetus to make the final Challenge Tour event in Oman after China.

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