• Porteous posts first European Tour win

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    JOHANNESBURG: Haydn Porteous won his first European Tour event at the Joburg Open on Sunday (Monday in Manila) firing a bogey-free 69 for a two-shot victory.

    The 21-year-old’s win was the second straight for a South African on home soil following Brandon Stone’s victory in the SA Open last week.

    It also makes it three South African wins out of five this season after Charl Schwartzel’s victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

    Porteous finished two shots clear of countryman Zander Lombard as both men earned themselves a place at the British Open at Royal Troon.

    “To qualify to get into The Open on merit is a big step in my career,” said Porteous who had missed both his cuts this season so far.

    However, Sunday’s win meant he earned a European Tour exemption until the end of the 2017 season.

    “Words can’t describe how I feel right now, it’s surreal to be honest. I’ve been battling with my golf for the last few months and hats off to [fitness coach]Garth Milne for all the strategy and game-plan and gym.”

    He added: “When I get home and things start to calm down I’m going to have a proper think about it. All the doors that are open because of winning the Joburg Open, it’s a dream come true.”

    England’s Anthony Wall, who led going into the final day, finished in a share of third alongside Swede Bjorn Akesson, American Daniel Im and South African Justin Walters.

    Wall also secured a spot in the British Open.

    Porteous’ victory comes in just his 22nd European Tour event and makes him the second youngest South African winner in European Tour history after Schwartzel at the 2005 Alfred Dunhill Championship.

    The tour next moves on to the Gulf with three straight tournaments in Abu Dhabi, where Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy will start their seasons, Qatar and Dubai.

    AFP

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