When Haydn Porteous won the Joburg Open in January he earned a place at this week’s Open Championship at Royal Troon Golf Club. On Thursday he’ll tee up in his first major and begin a new chapter in his career.
‘It’s a dream for any golfer out there, through junior golf, amateur golf and professional golf,’ he said. ‘It’s the best of the best, even to go to The Open and watch is a big thing. To get into The Open on merit is just a dream come true.’
The 22-year-old is aiming to end a bad spell that includes five missed cuts in his last six starts. Earlier in the season he posted top 10s at the Tshwane Open and Omega Dubai Desert Classic, but has been struggling to find the same form of late.
Troon is a percentage golf course. Keeping the ball in play (and out of the bunkers) is of utmost importance. Porteous is an all-around solid player and the course suits him, but he’ll still be soaking in the experience of a first major this week.
A methodical approach will be important for the young star as he begins his journey on the major stage.
Fellow Joburg Open champ Richard Sterne will also be in the field. The six-time European Tour winner has been in a rich vein of form recently, posting top-15s in three of his last four starts on the European Tour.
Last week he played the weekend of the Scottish Open in seven-under-par with rounds of 68 and 69 to tie for 13th place. He heads to Troon with all the ingredients for a tilt at the trophy.