Garrick Porteous achieved every amateur golfer's dream when he won the 118th British Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, Deal on Saturday 22nd June 2013. By defeating Toni Hakula from Finland 6&5 he became the first Englishman for 10 years to lift the coveted trophy. His second success in the space of a month ensured his starting place in The Open Championship at Muirfield on 15th July, in addition to invites to The Masters and US Open 2014. More invites have subsequently followed to the Scottish and Australian Opens.
The British Amateur Championship is a marathon and Garrick played 11 rounds of golf in 8 days. The strokeplay was played over Royal Cinque Ports and Prince's golf clubs, with the matchplay at the former. Garrick drew the worst of the weather on day one at Prince's and shot 77, but then bounced back on day two to shoot 69 (two under) at Royal Cinque Ports to comfortably make the matchplay stages.
The Irish Times referred to Garrick as 'the scourge of the Irish' as he took out their three qualifiers Cormac Sharvin, Paul Dunne and Aaron Kearney in rounds one, two and three. This set up a quarter final with his good friend and England team mate Neil Raymond. It proved to be a classic. After a slow start Garrick played some great golf to be three up at the turn. He knew Neil would throw everything at him, but Garrick stood firm and ran out victorious 2&1.
The semi-final pitted Garrick with the American prodigy Jim Liu, aged 17. Liu, aged 14, won the US Junior Amateur title and broke Tiger Wood's record as the youngest ever winner. In a tight encounter, where there was never more than one hole in it, Garrick found himself one down playing the 18th. An uncharacteristic shank from the American let Garrick in and he never looked back. He had a great up and down at the 19th to secure his place in the final.
Saturday 22nd June was a brutal day to play golf with winds gusting 40-45 miles per hour and the rain bleached across the famous links. After losing the first hole Garrick settled into his game and raced to a four hole lead after nine. Hakula did pull it back to one down after 16 holes but Garrick finally went into lunch three up and 18 holes to play. As the sun came out Garrick maintained his form and holed some great putts for birdie on the 23rd and 27th holes to be five up with nine to play. Although Hakula birdied the next, Garrick was in control and won on the 31st to seal the 6&5 victory.
His biggest fan, his sister, Angharad, followed his progress night and day from Stanford University, California. Angharad, a county golfer herself with Northumberland is studying for her PhD. Stanford is the mecca for golf and is getting ready to welcome Jim Liu, who Garrick beat in the semi-final. Stanford's most famous golfers include Tiger Woods, Michelle Wie and Tom Watson and are also coached by former Walker Cup player Phil Rowe. Even Garrick has competed at Stanford in the NCAA Regional Finals.
Angharad kept the social media rolling in the latter stages of the tournament with her inside knowledge of Garrick and the golfing world. She has been very quick to claim the caddying duties for the par 3 contest which is the traditional curtain raiser to The Masters tournament.
Garrick's motto is 'living the dream' and based on this result and the tournaments he is about to play in this is becoming a reality. Winning this event is beginning to sink in and he is really looking forward to teeing it up in The Open at Muirfield.