Garrick Porteous claimed his first European Challenge Tour title with a dominant victory in the inaugural Prague Golf Challenge.
The 27-year-old from Morpeth in Northumberland carried a four shot lead into the final round and his five under-par 67 took him to a five shot victory at Prague City Golf with Julien Guerrier, Christopher Mivis and Bradley Neil in a share of second place.
Having not made a Challenge Tour cut all season, the win is long overdue for Porteous – who has been rated as a hot prospect since winning the British Amateur Championship four years ago and playing in the Walker Cup.
Guerrier got to within two strokes at the turn in the last round but Porteous proved too good on the back nine which he played in a cumulative 19 under-par during the week.
“I’m buzzing, it’s great,” said Porteous afterwards. “I got off to a comfortable start with three pars and then managed to chip in on four for eagle, which got me going.
“Once I hit the back nine I was comfortable, it was business as usual really – it’s probably my favourite nine holes I’ve ever played, playing them as well as I did!
“This result gets my season going because I didn’t have much up in terms of points and I’m really excited – it was there but it just needed to be all put together and that’s what’s happened.
“It’s nice to get over the line and win by a comfortable margin. Finishing in the top 15 is definitely the goal now. At the start of the year the aim was to get into the Rolex Trophy and push on from there, so now I’ve got to try to back that up.”
A superb round of 64 on day three put Porteous in command. Eight birdies and an eagle were mixed with a couple of bogeys but for most of it was supreme.
“I guess that was a pretty perfect moving day,” he added. “I got off to a good start, birdieing the first two but it was quite scoreable out there really – you hit a lot of wedges and have a lot of opportunities on the par fives. You’ve got to make your move when you can and I did that in the last couple of days.
“I’ve struggled at the start of this year, I just really haven’t performed well. There’s been spells of good performances but I haven’t been able to put it together over four rounds until now.”