Porteous edges out Slattery to capture Czech Masters

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Haydn Porteous endured a horrible start to the season but his hard work paid off as he notched his second win on the European Tour

Haydn Porteous became the fifth South African winner on the European Tour this season – and none of them have the surname Schwartzel, Oosthuizen or Els.

Up until last week, where he was sixth in Denmark, Porteous had done little to suggest that this was coming but he ended the week as the new Czech Masters champion after overhauling Lee Slattery. Porteous began the 2017 season with six straight missed cuts having ended the previous one in equally miserable fashion with a string of blank weekends.

The Englishman shot one of the rounds of the year, a 65 on a miserable Friday, and began the final day with a two-shot lead.

But that soon disappeared as Porteous (69) opened up with two birdies while James Morrison picked up five shots in his first seven holes, he would tail off and a closing double gave him a 70.

Slattery (73) got his day going with a birdie at the 7th, one of three twos on the day but then dropped his first shot in 27 holes.

A pivotal moment looked like happening at the 16th when Porteous stiffed his tee shot but Slattery also birdied to stay one adrift.

Tom Lewis (67) shot the lowest round of the day for a share of third with Swede Pontus Widegren who rolled in a lovely birdie putt at the 72nd hole.

Other notable scores included Eddie Pepperell who was bogey-free over the weekend to tie for fifth while Lee Westwood, like everyone beginning his Ryder Cup qualifying campaign, sneaked into the top 10 with a closing 68.

Afterwards Porteous, now a two-time winner, said: “I said the first five holes I needed to come quite quick out of the blocks and try and shake Slats up a little bit.

“It’s been a really torrid time through the last eight, nine months and I’ve really started doing the right things and slowly but surely the golf has got a little bit better.

“I’m sure this evening’s probably not going to be the most professional moment of my life but there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of celebration.”

As for Slattery he thought the putter had let him down on Sunday but, in the circumstances, was pleased enough with his week: “I putted well the first few days and today it just let me down a bit. I missed a few short ones which I hadn’t done all week and that was the only difference really.

“To have four weeks off, there has been a lot going on at home with the baby and moving house, so to come into this week and finish runner-up is a great achievement. I will always look back at that seven under second round as one of the best rounds I’ve ever played in those conditions.”

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