Porteous is up to the challenge

Dimension Data Pro-Am: Day 3Haydn Porteous ranks ninth on the European Challenge Tour’s Race to Oman, and has everything in place to complete a stellar rookie year on that tour.

The 21-year-old kicked off his season on the European feeder tour with a playoff victory at the Barclays Kenya Open and has since proven that he belongs.

Last week in France he birdied two of his final three holes to finish the week on eight-under-par, which led to a share of fifth place for the future star.

Someone so young needs to adapt fast if they wish to emulate the likes of Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth, and Porteous did so by spending a year on the Challenge Tour in 2013, learning the ropes and “finding out what he was up against.”

In 2014 the South African returned to home soil and joined the Sunshine Tour after finishing fourth at Qualifying School. He got the ball rolling very quickly in the season and recorded top-30 finishes at the Dimension Data Pro-Am, the Tshwane Open, and the Telkom Business PGA Championship.

He then took a massive step upward at the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open, where his inexperience prevented him from converting a five-shot lead on Sunday into his maiden win. It was a crucial growing experience for the Modderfontein Golf Club player, who learnt what to expect when playing in the final group on Sunday.

Over the next six months he recorded a further five top-five results, including runner-up finishes at the Sun City Challenge and the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Wild Coast Sun Country Club.

It was no surprise that Porteous went on to win the Sunshine Tour Rookie of the year in 2014, raising the expectation levels for the 2015 season.

This year he has pulled through on the Challenge Tour, picking up five top-20s that include his victory in Kenya.

This week the players are scheduled to head for Portugal to play the Madeira Islands Open, which is one of the most lucrative events on the calendar. Porteous has proven beyond doubt that he is a contender on the Challenge Tour, and this week he could pick up victory number two.

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