Por­te­ous bags a sec­ond Euro­pean ti­tle as Thom­son fades

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT -

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!”

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