11th July 2013 | IGT Challenge Tour
Porteous back to winning form at Houghton
11 July 2013 – South Africa’s number one ranked Haydn Porteous powered back to his winning ways with an unprecedented wire-to-wire victory in the IGT Tour’s Winter Challenge event at Houghton Golf Club on Wednesday.
Already an eight-time winner on the South African Golf Association’s Open Amateur circuit this season, the reigning SA Stroke Play champion never relinquished the lead he took in the first round on his way to a winning total of five-under-par 211.
The Modderfontein golfer finished eight strokes clear of the chasing pack, led by Coert Groenewald.
Fellow amateur Conway Kunneke from The Els Club Copperleaf in Gauteng North tied for third, while Matthew Bright – a former Glacier Junior Series finalist – claimed a share of ninth at the Jack Nicklaus layout.
Porteous collected an eagle and five birdies on his way to an opening five-under-par 67 and a three-shot lead over Groenewald. The 18-year-old Central Gauteng golfer reeled in four birdies for a second round 70 that saw him finish two shots ahead of Groenewald.
“The conditions in the final round was a lot tougher,” said Porteous, who carded a 74 that included three successive birdied and three back-to-back bogeys on the back nine.
“It was very cold and windy and the course just played a lot tougher. Still, I could have done better, but I lost some concentration on the home stretch.”
The IGT Tour is a graduation Tour that provides a competitive platform for professionals and a bridge to ease the transition for amateurs into the pro ranks.
Porteous said he thoroughly enjoyed the experience of testing himself against the professionals and the victory was a welcome boost, especially following a disappointing trip to the United Kingdom.
“I was really frustrated with my performance at the British Amateur Championship in June,” he said. “I had an amazing season leading up to the British Amateur, but I caught the flu just before I left for the United Kingdom and it played havoc with my game.
“I just couldn’t reproduce the kind of form I enjoyed over the first sixth months this season, so to tee it up on this IGT Tour event on the back of that and to win by eight strokes is great. I’m striking the ball well and I believe game is getting back to the standard I believe I should be playing.
“It was pretty tough in the final round to keep my focus, especially when I moved 11 clear through 10 holes. I usually prefer a smaller lead, because that keeps you on your toes. I learned a good lesson, though. You can drop shots very quickly if you drop your focus, but overall, it was a great experience.”
In addition to defending his SA Stroke Play Championship title this season, Porteous also raked in the silverware at the Prince’s Grant Invitational, the Pro-Shop Northern Amateur Open Stroke Play, the Cape Province Open and the Boland Amateur Open.
The SA number one also won the Proudfoot Trophy as the leading player in the Stroke Play qualifier for the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship and the KwaZulu-Natal Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifier, where he lost to SA number two Zander Lombard in the final.