LEWISTON, NY (July 30, 2016) -- Australian Harrison Endycott arrived at the 72nd tee box of the Porter Cup, 14-under and ahead of Pittsford, NY native Gavin Hall by one-stroke. The closing hole at Niagara Falls Country Club is a 189 yard par-3 and Endycott quickly found himself in trouble as his 5-iron sailed deep and into the rough behind the green. With Hall in close for birdie, Endycott faced a delicate downhill chip with very little green to work with.
“It was one of those pitches, I had to kill it in the fringe, trickle it down there, and expect to hole a five-footer,” Endycott told the Buffalo News.
A difficult task in normal circumstances, made even more difficult given the magnitude of the moment, but it didn't phase Endycott as he hit a perfect pitch that left him with a five-foot par putt.
However, before Endycott could putt for his par, Hall had a chance to tie for the lead with his birdie putt, which would ultimately slide by.
Now facing a putt for the win, the Australian calmly saved his par and celebrated his win with a fist pump of the right arm. With the win, Endycott became just the third Australian born player to win the Porter Cup.
“It means a lot for a lot of Aussie golfers. The Porter Cup is such a known event through Australia and really all world amateurs,” Endycott said. “I feel privileged to win it.”
Hall, a senior at Texas, began the day at 14-under and in possession of a four-stroke lead. The crowd favorite struggled out of the gates with a double-bogey on the 2nd hole but rebounded nicely with birdies on the 3rd and 6th holes to even off his round and return to 14-under as he made the turn. Hall would move his score to 15-under after his third and final birdie of the day at the 11th, which once more stretched his lead back to four with seven holes remaining.
At that point it looked as if Hall, the wire-to-wire leader thus far would close out the tournament but bogeys on Nos. 12 and 16 opened the door and Endycott jumped through the crack.
Hall, playing in his fifth Porter Cup, ended up 13-under for the week with a 1-over 71 final day to finish second. The Texas star has finished inside the top-10 in all five appearances and he plans to come back next year to try and pick up the presently elusive victory.
“I think my time is coming,” Hall said to the Buffalo News. “Certainly, it hurts now. I really haven’t had many tournaments go my way. It’s bound to turn around at some point. I don’t know when it’s going to be. It’s surely going to feel pretty good. As long as I keep working hard and doing the right things, I’ll be in good position.”
Through the first 12 holes of his final round Endycott, who started the day 10-under, was playing nicely and he was 1-under with two birdies and one bogey. It wasn't until he birdied 13 and 14 back-to-back that it looked as if he might make a run. The birdie on the 14th came as a result of a 40-footer.
Just a couple holes later, on the 16th Endycott hit another 40-footer and when Hall three-putted for bogey the Australian found himself on top of the leaderboard for the first time.
"I actually didn't hit a good putt (on No. 16). I was actually trying to hit it a little higher and just die it in and I hit it a little hard and a little lower and I think I just got a little lucky, a little break because it went in," said Endycott. "Bottom line though I felt awesome going to the next (hole), I couldn't wait to get to the next tee shot."
On the penultimate hole, Endycott was able to save par from just off the green while Hall missed a 15-foot birdie opportunity.
Endycott played the final seven holes in 3-under and signed for a final round 4-under 66. Hall played the closing stretch in 2-over.
Second-ranked mid-amateur Scott Harvey finished well back in third at 5-under. Coming off his tie for ninth finish at the RBC Canadian Open Jared du Toit shared fourth with Josh Whalen (Kent State) at 4-under.
-The Buffalo News contributed to this story