It’s fitting that Haydn Porteous will make the leap into professional golf at the M2M Russian Open this week, which has become a fully-fledged European Tour event after three years of hosting the Challenge Tour.
The former South African number one amateur will tee up at Tseleevo Golf Club from Thursday, making his professional through a sponsor’s invitation.
Porteous will join the likes of Simon Dyson, Jeev Milkha Singh, Michael Campbell and Tom Lewis at the Jack Nicklaus designed course, which is carved out through woodland.
The 19-year-old has a stellar amateur record and shone in 2013, winning the Prince’s Grant Inviational in January before successfully defending his title at the SA Amateur Stroke Play Championship in February.
He also had a taste of the professional circuit as an amateur, teeing up in two of the Sunshine Big Easy Tour events. The first was at Modderfontein Golf Club (his home course) in 2012, where he tied for sixth. And this year he competed at Big Easy Roodepoort and shot a second-round 67 to finish tied for ninth, proving yet again that he can keep pace with the pros.
This week he’s headed for the deep end, but history has shown that it doesn’t bother the future star.