Porteous takes D+D REAL Czech Masters

The final day turned into a duel between Haydn Porteous and Lee Slattery

South African player Haydn Porteous takes his second European Tour title with a final round of 69 (-3), which was enough to fend off overnight leader Lee Slattery from England. As the day progressed, it was clear that the show down in the final group with Porteous and Slattery was going to be the game to watch and the crowds turned out in numbers to follow the two around the course.

A late charge by Lee Westwood on day four was not enough to catch the leaders despite going -4 on the back nine on the last day. Westwood and the other chasers, however, were just too far off the leaders at the start of the day to make an impact.

Tom Lewis from England was the biggest mover on day three with an excellent bogey free 67 (-5), and Pontus Widegren from Sweden looked able to threaten early, only to see his chances disappear on the back nine with two bogeys on the par 5 12th and following 13th. The 12th, though, is where Westwood began his charge. After struggling with the putter all week, Westwood took the putter out of the equation on the 12th, firing a long drive and then putting his second shot next to the green which he subsequently chipped in for an eagle. From that point he looked like a man on a mission sinking birdies at the 14th and 16th before his putter failed him again at the 17th. It was a top 10 finish in the end for Westwood, and his first round at Albatross under 70 in 8 attempts.

All praise though must go to the 23-year-old South African. In a tight battle for the win playing in the same group as Slattery there was a constant trade of blows. Initially, it appeared Porteous was going to run away with the title firing 33 (-3) across the first nine holes with Slattery only managing par. Porteous was on a hot streak and it seemed there was nothing that Slattery could do as he saw his lead slip away after just six holes in the afternoon sunshine. As they turned through to the last nine holes however Porteous slipped twice at 10 and 11 bringing the contest back to square with just seven more holes to play.

As word spread around the Albatross galleries that the battle was coming down to this pair, fans flocked to the group in numbers adding to the pressure on the players.

In the end, the decisive hole was the 15th. Porteous took the aggressive line and cut the corner, flying closely to trees and the galleries on the signature 16th green, landing in the first cut of rough just 97 meters from the flag. Slattery pushed his shot wide, finishing in the bunker 157 meters from the flag and knowing he needed a great shot to keep up with the South African. His shot however found a difficult spot by the green and he was only able to manage a bogey putting the Porteous one ahead.

Both played excellent shots into the par 3 16th with the large crowd almost witnessing a hole-in-one from Porteous and both went onto par the long par 4 17th.

Slattery began his walk up 18 knowing he needed at least a birdie to force a playoff and after seeing Porteous put his ball on the green, albeit not close to the hole, he chose an aggressive line into the very difficult pin position on the left of the green. The ball ended in the rough and with Slattery knowing a chip in is necessary, he overpowered his chip leaving the result all but a formality.

Porteous calmly played his long put up and over the crest nestling the ball close to the hole. Slattery played out a bogey giving the South African an easy tap in for par and his second European win.

For more visit www.czechmasters.cz

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