Garrick Porteous heads for The Open Championship at Muirfield this week in all-conquering form after a stunning international success.
The British amateur champion, who lives in Morpeth, put together a “perfect six” 100% record of three wins in both the foursomes and singles as England won the European Team Championships.
This added credibility to the nickname Porteous has acquired in a serial winner season as “The Terminator” of amateur golf, the man who invariably closes out. The five-day tournament was played at the Silkeborg club in Billund, Denmark, ending on Sunday with the best result possible for an Englishman just about to invade Scotland to play his first major.
At the home club of Thomas Bjorn, England walloped Scotland 4½-2½ in the final.
There was an awesome stretch for Porteous and foursomes partner Neil Raymond as they took the first six holes against Ewan Scott and James Ross, completing the front nine in five under, before winning 3&2.
In the singles, Porteous recorded a 2&1 victory over Jack Macdonald of Kilmarnock Barassie, last year’s Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year.
At Muirfield, Porteous has been drawn to play in the first two rounds with German Martin Kaymer, a former world No 1 who sunk the winning putt in last year’s Ryder Cup thriller, and Jason Day, an Australian who has been a runner-up in majors three times.
Bearing in mind Phil Mickelson’s comments on Sunday about the value of playing a links course in the Scottish Open just before the Open at Muirfield, will playing a tree-lined parkland course in Denmark five days in a row have done anything for the preparations of Porteous? “
“I don’t think it will make any difference,” said Porteous, whose home club is Bamburgh Castle.
“I don’t need to prepare for links golf in that sense because I grew up in the sport playing the links at Bamburgh and I’ll have two days of practice before the Open starts on Thursday.
“The sort of shots you need on a links course are second nature to me and that factor kicked in during this year’s Amateur Championship, which was played on a links course at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent.
“I have played Muirfield five times, including a previous Amateur Championship.
“Round the greens it is just like Bamburgh.
“The sort of shots you need at Bamburgh are the same sort of shots you need at Muirfield – you don’t need to flight the ball so much.
“I have been playing bump and runs and using the contours of the greens and the surrounds with all sorts of clubs – wedges, irons, putters and hybrids – in a wide variety of situations round the green since I was a boy.”
The former pupil at King Edward VI School in Morpeth has also won the Scottish Open this season and was runner-up in the English Open.
He has signed a three-year contract with Chubby Chandler’s ISM sports mangement company.