Garrick Porteous has an extra spring in his step after what he described as the “awesome experience” of playing in the Open Championship.
The Northumberland amateur may have missed the cut at Muirfield, but he will take away memories of a lifetime when he returns to the United States this week.
“The whole week has been an awesome experience,” said Porteous, who carded 76 and 77 to finish on 11 over par for his two rounds, four shots above the cut mark. “The highlight was probably my first tee shot on Thursday. The nerves were high and just go to get it down the middle and make par felt great.
“I don’t think I will ever get over the feeling of being on the first tee on Thursday knowing I was about to become an Open player. While it’s a disappointment I didn’t make it to the weekend, I can say I finished above Rory McIlroy!
“As an amateur, to play with Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer and Australian Jason Day has been an awesome experience. The thing that struck me about them both was how totally relaxed and down-to-earth they are.”
Born in Colchester, Porteous moved to Morpeth at the age of three. His father, John, soon introduced him to golf club and by the age of nine he had a handicap at his father’s club, Bamburgh Castle. He has been a member and has represented the club ever since.
Now based at the University of Tennessee, the 23-year-old student has lots to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead. He qualified for the Open, as well as next year’s Masters at Augusta and the US Open, by winning the Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent.
But before next year’s majors, his first big test is the US Amateur at Brookline, Massachusetts.
“I’ve got two big tournaments in the US in the next two weeks, including the US Amateur,” he explained. “Then I hope to play in the Walker Cup in September. We’ll have to see what team is picked.”
Porteous has been signed up by Chubby Chandler’s management company ISM in anticipation of a move into the professional ranks, but that will be a year away.
“The plan is to stay amateur for the Masters,” he added. “I have walked around it, it’ll be crazy to go and actually play in it. It’s some place, totally different in person to what you see on TV.
“The experience of playing in the Open will not only help me for that, but also help me for the rest of my career.”