South Africa’s Haydn Porteous carded a final round 69 to win his first European Tour title at the Joburg Open yesterday.
Porteous became the second South African in as many weeks to open his account after Brandon Stone’s triumph at the BMW SA Open last Sunday.
Ireland’s Paul Dunne, just two shots off the pace going into the final round, could only muster a 72 yesterday to finish five shots behind the winner. However, the Greystones man, chasing his maiden Tour win, will be happy with his week’s work as he arrived in South Africa having just recovered from a viral infection.
Porteous, who had gone into the fourth day on the East Course at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club tied with compatriot Zander Lombard and England’s Anthony Wall on 15 under par, completed a flawless round which included three birdies to finish two shots clear on 18 under. Porteous said: “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.
“I started to hit a few fairways and a lot more greens and gave myself some chances to make birdie. Unfortunately the putts didn’t go in, but I was keeping the pressure low and making sure I was going to be making par.” Lombard’s hopes were dashed as he dropped shots on the ninth, 11th, and 14th holes on his way to a one-under-par 71, leaving him in second place.
Wall had to settle for a four-way tie for third after he finished the tournament with a 72 following three sub-par rounds with his two birdies, one of them at the first, cancelled out by two bogeys.
But he at least had the consolation of qualifying for the Open Championship at Royal Troon along with Porteous and Lombard as a result, just as he did last year.
Meanwhile, Europe eased to an emphatic 13-point victory against Asia in the EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.
Darren Clarke’s men were leading 9-3 heading into the third and final day of singles at the Glenmarie Golf & Country Club and extended that advantage in style, winning the tournament for the first time, 18½-5½.
Danny Willett clinched the win with eight matches still out on course, taking Europe’s fourth point against Byeong-hun An after Ian Poulter, Andy Sullivan, and Lee Westwood had beaten Danny Chia, Thongchai Jaidee, and Nicholas Fung respectively.
Bernd Wiesberger and Shane Lowry were the only Europeans to lose their matches as the hosts rallied through K.T Kim and Anirban Lahiri.
But there were wins for Matt Fitzpatrick, Kristoffer Broberg, Chris Wood, Soren Kjeldsen, and Victor Dubuisson as Europe pulled away to win.
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