Haydn Porteous showed signs of the form which has made him a two-time winner on the European Tour on Sunday as he closed the Scandinavian Mixed with a seven-under-par 65 to get his first top-10 finish of 2021.
Porteous, who had made only three cuts in 14 starts this year before the European Tour’s and Ladies European Tour’s venture into the historic mixed strokeplay event, made two eagles, four birdies and a bogey to be the top South African finisher behind Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Caldwell who won his maiden European Tour title at 17-under-par by one stroke.
Porteous started his round with a bogey on the first, but he got things going with three consecutive birdies from the fourth to the sixth. He made eagle on the par-four ninth, and again on the par-four 13th, and rounded out his tournament with a birdie on the 16th. His closing round score was only topped by Caldwell’s eight-under 64 as he climbed 44 places on the leaderboard on the final day.
Lee-Anne Pace also had a great closing round to be the next-best of the South African finishers. Her four-under 68 saw her jump 29 spots into a share of 25th. She was the sixth-best finisher amongst the LET players.
Jacques Kruyswijk closed with a level-par 72 to remain at seven-under for the tournament in a share of 25th with Pace, while Zander Lombard’s 73 saw him finish five-under in a share of 37th. Darren Fichardt rounded out a frustrating weekend with a two-over 74 and a share of 42nd.
It has been a long road to the winner’s circle for Caldwell, who first came through the Qualifying School in 2008 but since then had played just 47 events on the European Tour coming into the week.
He worked in a local golf shop during some of his time on the EuroPro Tour – where he claimed wins in 2016 and 2017 – and made his way back to the European Tour via the Qualifying School in 2019 after a decade away.
But he will now have no worries about his playing privileges for the foreseeable future, and cut an emotional figure as he was interviewed after his victory. “It’s been a dream of mine for an awful long time,” he said. “A lot of hard work goes into it. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but hopefully more to come.
“In 2009 I played my first year, lost my card, played mini tours and Challenge Tour over the years, worked as well in a local golf store. It’s been a long road but finally I’m here.”