Bamburgh golfer wins top title

Bamburgh Castle golfer Garrick Porteous will play on some of the sport’s biggest stages after winning a top amateur event at the weekend.

Porteous was crowned as the 2013 Amateur Champion at Royal Cinque Ports after he defeated Finland’s Toni Hakula six and five in the 36-hole final.

The 23-year-old became the first English winner of The Amateur Championship since Gary Wolstenholme in 2003 and staked a very strong claim for a place in the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team this September by winning one of the amateur game’s most prestigious championships.

After losing the first hole of the morning round, Porteous surged into a four-hole lead against his 21-year-old opponent on the front nine and was never again behind in the final as both players battled through winds gusting up to 40mph.

By winning The Amateur, Porteous has secured a place in The Open Championship at Muirfield next month as well as a place in next year’s US Open at Pinehurst and a traditional invitation to the Masters in April.

As reported on the R & A website, he said: “It’s quite a surreal feeling right now. I know there are a lot of famous names on that trophy. To be alongside them is pretty humbling.

“I felt confident coming into the week, but I never got ahead of myself. I just played one shot at a time and it worked.

“I think it will hit me next week when I realise I will be playing in The Open.

“It is just over an hour away from my house so there will be a lot of local fans coming out to watch. I played Muirfield four years ago in The Amateur and it will feel pretty special to tee it up there in The Open.”