England’s Garrick Porteous won the 2013 Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent. The 23-year-old beat Finland’s Toni Hakula by 6&5 in the 36-hole final.
In extremely testing, windy conditions, Porteous lost the first hole of the match to Hakula. But it was the only time he was behind, and a run of good holes on the front nine saw the Bamburgh Castle player four-up at the turn.
Hakula battled back on the run for home in round one, reducing the deficit to just one hole after 16 holes. But Porteous rallied and won the 17th and 18th to go into the afternoon round with a three-hole advantage.
There was no way back for the Finn in round two and Porteous steadily increased his lead. The Englishman took the title on the 31st hole. With the win, the University of Tennessee graduate has secured a place in the Open Championship at Muirfield, as well as an invitation to next year’s Masters.
“It’s quite a surreal feeling right now. I know there are a lot of famous names on that trophy. To be alongside them is pretty humbling,” said Porteous. “I think it will hit me next week when I realise I will be playing in The Open. It is just over an hour away from my house so there will be a lot of local fans coming out to watch. I played Muirfield four years ago in The Amateur and it will feel pretty special to tee it up there in The Open.”
Hakula made it to the final by defeating local favourite Max Orrin in the semi-final. He was, understandably disappointed, to have lost out at the final hurdle, but was delighted to have played so well during the week.
“If someone had given me a pass to the final at the start of the week I would have paid $10,000,” Hakula said. “Hopefully I can come back next year and go one better.”
The 119th Amateur Championship will be played at Royal Portrush and Portstewart from June 16-21.
118th Amatuer Championship
Royal Cinque Ports and Prince’s Golf Clubs, Kent
Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle) bt Toni Hakula (Finland) 6&5
Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle) bt Jim Liu (USA) 19th hole
Toni Hakula (Finland) bt Max Orrin (North Foreland) 4&2