South African Haydn Porteous picked up European Tour win No. 2 at the D+D REAL Czech Masters
Go ahead and buy that fancy new crib, Haydn Porteous.
The 23-year-old South African closed out Lee Slattery by two strokes to win the D+D REAL Czech Masters as his wife, overdue by a week with their first child, waited a continent away at home.
A birdie-eagle start erased Porteous’ deficit against playing partner and 54-hole leader, Lee Slattery. Porteous gave back the lead on a bogey on the par-4 fourth, but birdies at No. 6 and 9 helped him tie and take the lead. He bogeyed No. 10 and 11 to allow Slattery to regain the lead with a birdie on the 12th.
Porteous surged for a two-under finish in his final seven holes while Slattery played the final five in one-over, including a bogey on the 18th when he needed birdie to force a playoff against Porteous’ par.
Slattery, seeking his third Tour win, had a puzzling scorecard en route to a disappointing one-over 73, the highest score of anyone in the top 13. The Englishman played the four par-3s in three-under and the four par-5s in one-over. He also began his round with six straight pars.
England’s Tom Lewis posted a final-round 67 for low round of the day to climb eight spots to a tie for third, the 26-year-old’s highest European Tour finish since 2013. Not a bad finish after an opening 75 for the world No. 528.
Porteous made just one double bogey all week, a six on the par-4 11th on Thursday. It ironically came on the heels of his only eagle of the tournament on the par-5 10th.
The scoop on Porteous
A rocky 2017 season for Porteous has flipped on its head in the past few weeks for the sophomore European Tour player.
Porteous lacked a top-10 finish in his first 18 events of 2017 and played the weekend just nine times.
"“It’s been a really torrid time through the last eight, nine months and I’ve really started doing the right things and slowly but surely the golf has got a little bit better,” Porteous told the European Tour."
The light clicked on for him when he went home to play the Sunshine Tour’s Sun City Challenge. The field was one of the weakest Porteous played all year, but perhaps a T11 on home turf was all he needed to regain his confidence.
"“When you start playing on the European Tour you start to lose yourself, you lose how you got out here in the first place and to then find yourself again and do the things you do to normally get on the Tour is key.”"
A win in the Paul Lawrie Match Play the week after preceded a season-best T6 last week at the Made in Denmark.
Everything finally came together this week in Prague for his second career European Tour win. Also on his resume is a win at the 2016 Joburg Open.
Porteous has now carded nine sub-par rounds in a row. After plummeting down the Race to Dubai rankings through the summer, Porteous is now No. 61 with a couple months left on the European Tour schedule.
Notes from the D+D Real Czech Masters
- Slattery recorded the low round of the tournament, a seven-under on 65 on Friday which featured a back-nine 30.
- While the Czech Masters will never be confused for a Rolex Series event, weeks like these can be praised for opening the door for players with limited European Tour status. Case in point: Sweden’s Pontus Widegren. In only his 12th start on the European Tour, most of which were lower rung co-sanctioned events, the world No. 847 posted four rounds of par or better to tie for third.
- World No. 29 Thomas Pieters entered as the highest-ranked player in the field, but the Belgian had a disappointing week. He made the cut but finished tied for 66th after a final round 83, his highest score of the season.
- Other notable results: Lee Westwood T9 (-7), defending champion Paul Peterson T18 (-5), Matthew Fitzpatrick T54 (+2), John Daly and Martin Kaymer MC (+3)
- No Czechs made the cut. Filip Mruzek and Ales Korinek (+2) missed by one stroke.
- Porteous’ winning total of 275 was the highest score in the Czech Masters’ fourth year at Albatross.
Congratulations to the newest European Tour champion, Haydn Porteous!