Haydn Porteous feels he will have some home advantage when he defends the title at this week’s D+D Real Czech Masters.
The 24-year-old claimed his second European Tour title just under 12 months ago in Prague en route to finishing a career-best 55th on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
The win came seven days after he secured his first top ten of the campaign at the Made In Denmark and once again he arrives at Albatross Golf Resort off the back of his best result of the season so far – this time at the Nordea Masters.
With a Czech girlfriend and happy memories of last season, Porteous feels very comfortable in Prague and is hopeful that lightning can strike twice.
‘I feel like I have really close ties here in Prague,’ he said. ‘To win the Czech Masters and have a girlfriend from here, it’s always nice to come here and it’s starting to feel more and more like home.
‘I really needed a really strong finish towards the end of the season. I’d just put together a top ten finish in Denmark the week before the Czech Masters so that gave me a little bit of confidence leading into the week.
‘Then things seemed to go my way, I got the bounces that I needed when I needed them and at the end of the week to be lifting the trophy was a dream. To then keep my card and get myself into the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai was awesome.
‘It was a bit of a déjà vu from last year. Last week I finished sixth too so hopefully I can put a solid performance together this week and hopefully I can lift the trophy again.
‘I think the golf course really suits me. It’s quite long, some of the par fives are quite touch and go when it comes to going for them in two and I feel like I have the length advantage to get on those par fives in two. I think that’s quite a big advantage on this course.
‘The par fours are quite tough as they are and to have a pretty decent chance of making birdies on the par fives is exactly what I need to feel comfortable.
‘Prague feels like home and it feels like a very comfortable week.’
Porteous’ win here last season was his first on European soil after winning the Joburg Open and tasting victory in Kenya on the Challenge Tour, and he feels that was a big milestone in his career.
‘I felt like the next stepping stone was to win in Europe on the European Tour,’ he said. ‘Most of my European wins were on home soil – Kenya isn’t home but it is part of Africa – Joburg Open it felt like I was playing in my back garden.
‘Winning on different grass is really tough and to get that trust like I trust myself in South Africa is quite tough. To pull off a win and feel comfortable on the European type of grass is an awesome feeling and I felt like I took a huge step in the right direction.’
Credit: European Tour
Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images