Porteous bags a second European title as Thomson fades
HUDDERSFIELD’S Chris Hanson finished tied 14th in the D+D Real Czech Masters, as South Africa’s Haydn Porteous overturned a two-shot deficit in the final round to win his second European Tour title.
Porteous carded a closing 69 at Albatross Golf Resort to finish 13 under par and two shots clear of England’s Lee Slattery, with Tom Lewis and Sweden’s Pontus Widegren a shot further back.
Hanson finished on six under par having carded a final round 73, to finish six under par after earlier scores of 68, 66 and 75 to earn 14,400 euros.
But debutant Jonathan Thomson of Lindrick saw his hopes fade after a disastrous final round of 81 saw him slip a share of fourth place going into the final round, to finish tied 54th on 290.
Sheffield’s Matt Fitzpatrick finished in the same position after a final round of 75, while Simon Dyson was two shots further adrift.
At the top of the leaderboard, Slattery’s overnight lead was quickly wiped as Porteous birdied the first two holes and after dropping a shot on the fourth, the 23-year-old from Johannesburg also birdied the seventh and ninth to move back in front.
Both men bogeyed the par-five 10th and Porteous also dropped another shot on the 11th, allowing Slattery to regain the lead with just his second birdie of the day on the 13th.
However, Porteous immediately hit back to birdie the next and produced a moment of real quality when it mattered the most, firing a superb tee shot to within two feet of the pin on the dangerous 16th.
Slattery had dropped a shot on the 15th after finding a bunker off the tee, but also birdied the 16th to keep up the pressure before making a bogey on the last after pulling his approach left of the green.
Porteous won the Joburg Open in January 2016, but a missed cut in last year’s Czech Masters was the first of 14 early exits in 16 events, prompting a return to his former coach.
“It’s been a really torrid time through the last eight, nine months,” Porteous said after his Prague win.
“I’ve really started doing the right things and slowly but surely the golf ’s got a little bit better and to get my second European Tour win under the belt feels amazing. When you start playing on the European Tour you start to lose yourself, you lose how you got out here in the first place.
“To then find yourself again is key and I can’t thank my sponsors enough for helping me through thick and thin.
“I’m sure this evening’s not going to be the most professional moment of my life, but there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of a celebration!”