England's Porteous claims The Amateur title

6&5 victory over Finn Hakula at Royal Cinque Ports puts him in the Open and US Masters

Bob Warters
Sun, 23 Jun 2013

England's Porteous claims The Amateur title

Englishman Garrick Porteous earned himself a place in The Open Championship at Muirfield next month and the 2014 US Masters when he won The Amateur Champion at Royal Cinque Ports defeating Finland’s Toni Hakula 6&5 in the 36-hole final.

The 23-year-old became the first English winner of the title since Gary Wolstenholme in 2003 and staked his claim for a place in the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team to play the United States in September.

Despite losing the opening hole in driving rain in the morning round, Porteous surged into a four-hole lead against his 21-year-old opponent and was never again behind as both players battled through gusting winds on the south coast course.

The Bamburgh Castle golfer also secures a place in next year’s US Open at Pinehurst and said: “It’s quite a surreal. I know there are a lot of famous names on this trophy and to be alongside them is pretty humbling. I felt confident coming into the week but never got ahead of myself. I just played one shot at a time and it worked.

“It will hit me next week when I realise I will be playing in The Open. It's just over an hour away from my house so there will be a lot of local fans coming out to watch. I played Muirfield four years ago in The Amateur and it will feel pretty special to tee it up there again in The Open.”

Hakula, who will go into his senior year studying economics at the University of Texas in August, said: “It hurts to lose and I feel like I didn’t play as well as I could even though the weather was tough. We both hit a lot of errant shots to start with and a lot of bogeys were winning holes but to be honest I missed a lot of short putts in the morning and it was tough to get back ahead.

Porteous adapted better to the inclement weather and he began to assert his dominance and leading 4-up at the turn gave the University of Tennessee graduate an important cushion.

Starting the afternoon round with a three-hole lead, Porteous slipped up at the 20th hole but a par at the 21st was enough to restore his lead. A birdie on the 28th hole took Porteous to 5-up and, although Hakula took the next with a birdie three, the Englishman was in control and a bogey on the 31st was enough to seal a 6&5 victory.

 

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