After firing a second round six-under 66 at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Haydn Porteous moved 57 places up the leaderboard to put himself into contention for the weekend, three behind leader Ernie Els who was at nine-under.
At the turn the young South African was four-under and his confidence seemed to grow shot-by-shot. He said, “The first goal was to make the cut this week and four-under after nine, that sort of disappeared and I started to look towards the top of the leaderboard.”
Gaining further confidence from some impressive putting on the slick greens at the Emirates Golf Club, Porteous managed to card seven birdies to finish in an early share of seventh going into Saturday. Porteous said, “I made a few good puts early doors and that gave me confidence throughout the rest of the round.”
Speaking about his error on the seventh, Porteous said, “I made a silly error on seven. I should never have been going right of that flag, but when you’re six-under its hard not to go for the flag, but all day it was pretty good and let’s hope for two more like that.”
Having come within striking distance of Els, who led the tournament after the first two rounds, Porteous said he was hopeful of catching his boyhood idol in the next two rounds this weekend.
He said,” It’s always nice to see a South African, especially Ernie Els at the top of the leaderboard, it looks like he is swinging it really well so hats off to him and hopefully I can catch him in the last two rounds.”
Speaking about how life has changed as a result of his win at the Joburg Open, Porteous said, “I’m playing tournaments I’ve dreamt of playing as a kid and it’s always nice to peg it up with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Ernie Els and it’s just an unbelievable experience and I’m just taking it all in.”