Garrick joins top flight

Garrick Porteous will realise his dream of playing on the European Tour in 2020 after a stunning Qualifying School performance in Spain.

The 29-year-old from Morpeth posted closing rounds of 68, 68 and 67 following rounds of 70, 71 and 70 in the six-round marathon at Lumine in Tarragona to finish 13th and clinch one of the 25 European Tour cards on offer.

Garrick’s 14 under-par total showed the form he’s been building since returning to working with Matfen Hall-based John Harrison as his coach and mentor.

“I’ve been dreaming of playing on the European Tour ever since I started playing golf,” said Garrick.

“You idolise the people you watch on TV, for me to be there and to be representing Bamburgh Castle on a global stage will be very special.

“I can’t describe the emotional ups and downs I went through during Q School. It’s a tournament that dictates how your whole year, even your whole career, can turn out and to play that well under those circumstances shows how far I’ve come. This year has been a steady performance on the Challenge Tour, the results might not have shown it, but I’ve continuously become more confident.

“The change back to John Harrison as a coach has certainly helped. I’m taking more ownership of everything I do and to have John as a coach and mentor is a massive help.”

Many expected Garrick to breeze into the big time after a glittering amateur career including Walker Cup honours and big wins in the British and Scottish amateurs.

“From the beginning of my professional career in 2014 I’ve been on the Challenge Tour,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of decent years with a win on the EuroPro Tour in 2014 and another win on the Challenge Tour in 2017.

“The competition on the Challenge Tour seems to get better and better every year. Unless you are on your game, you’re not going to be close to the top or even making the cut.

“This is why I don’t think it’s such a big step up to the European Tour anymore. You still need to be on your game every week, as we all know the quality out there is phenomenal.

“To have Chris Paisley – and hopefully Graeme Storm – out on the European Tour will be a big help.

“I definitely look up to Chris. He’s had a fantastic career to-date. We have played on the same university team, represented GB&I in the Walker Cup and won on th Challenge Tour.

“It’s definitely exciting to see where we end up in the future. Hopefully we can inspire the next generation of North East golfers to reach the top level.”

Garrick is proud to represent his home club, Bamburgh Castle, on tour and indebted to main sponsor Penny Petroleum as well as Puma and Cobra Golf, and his coaching and fitness team of John, Nick Grantham and Darren Wigg.

Garrick started his European tour season at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek in South Africa, where he finished in the top 10 and picked up a cheque for €25,800, before taking a break and preparing to get married to his fiancée Maisie Grant in January.