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England's Garrick Porteous won the 2013 Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports in Kent. The 23-year-old beat Finland's Toni Hakula by 6&5 in the 36-hole final.
In extremely testing, windy conditions, Porteous lost the first hole of the match to Hakula. But it was the only time he was behind, and a run of good holes on the front nine saw the Bamburgh Castle player four-up at the turn.
Hakula battled back on the run for home in round one, reducing the deficit to just one hole after 16 holes. But Porteous rallied and won the 17th and 18th to go into the afternoon round with a three-hole advantage.
There was no way back for the Finn in round two and Porteous steadily increased his lead. The Englishman took the title on the 31st hole. With the win, the University of Tennessee graduate has secured a place in the Open Championship at Muirfield, as well as an invitation to next year's Masters.
"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," said Porteous. "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."
Hakula made it to the final by defeating local favourite Max Orrin in the semi-final. He was, understandably disappointed, to have lost out at the final hurdle, but was delighted to have played so well during the week.
"If someone had given me a pass to the final at the start of the week I would have paid $10,000," Hakula said. "Hopefully I can come back next year and go one better."
The 119th Amateur Championship will be played at Royal Portrush and Portstewart from June 16-21.
118th Amatuer Championship Royal Cinque Ports and Prince's Golf Clubs, Kent Jun 17-22
Final Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle) bt Toni Hakula (Finland) 6&5
Semi Finals Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle) bt Jim Liu (USA) 19th hole Toni Hakula (Finland) bt Max Orrin (North Foreland) 4&2
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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