Porteous wins Amateur Championship

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Bamburgh golfer Garrick Porteous has now qualified for the next three majors by winning the Amateur Championship.

The 23 year-old’s triumph at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent and as a result has now qualified for both next month’s Open as well as next year’s Masters and US Open.

His 6 and 5 win over Finland’s Toni Hakula now also makes him a certainty for inclusion in the GB and Ireland Walker Cup team to face the Americans at Long Island in September.

Porteous, who won the Scottish Strokeplay Championships earlier this year, became the first Englishman in over a decade to win the event, the last one being Gary Wolstenholme in 2003.

The 36-hole final at Deal was played in very blustery conditions. Winds reached 40mph and there was driving rain with temperatures dropping so low that the players had to play their first round wearing mittens.

Porteous, who shot a first round 82, was three up after the first 18 holes, but he had to hit back from a first hole set-back when the 21 year-old Hakula, who shot 84, remarkably holed out in one.

Porteous won the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth to take a commanding lead at the turn.

The Finn won the 10th and 12th but Porteous claimed 13 before Hakula won 15 and 16 to reduce the deficit to just one hole.

He could not maintain that momentum, however, and wins on 17 and 18 put Porteous well in control.

The weather improved for the second 18 and Hakula won the second but Porteous won the third, fifth and ninth to take a five-hole lead on to the back nine.

Hakula was not giving up and he drained a long putt for birdie on 10 to reduce the deficit, but wins on 12 and 13 handed Porteous a convincing victory.

After lifting the trophy a proud Porteous said: “It feels just unbelievable. I can’t quite get to grips with it.

“I definitely had an advantage in the wind and growing up on links golf, it’s second nature to me. I know how to hit it low, hit it high and how to chip and run. I knew it was going to be a grind and wasn’t intimidated.”

Porteous plans to become professional but will obviously now wait until after the US Open next June. Growing up in Morpeth, he initially set his sights on becoming a professional rugby player after representing his country. “But I first represented England in golf at the age of 16 and since then it’s always been golf,” he said.