DOWERGLEN, South Africa (Feb. 10, 2012) -- Despite coming under intense pressure from Italy’s Andrea Bolognesi, South Africa’s Haydn Porteous was the coolest man at the final hole at Glendower Golf Club as he closed out the South African Stroke Play Championship with a even-par 72 on Friday.
The 17-year-old surrendered a three shot lead to the Italian after a bogey at the 12th and a double at the 13th – his Achilles Heel through four rounds.
But Porteous showed incredible resilience to reel off two birdies in his final four holes and win one of the most prestigious titles on the amateur circuit. His winning score was eight-under-par 280, one stroke better than the Italian, who closed with a 74.
“Words can’t explain how I feel,” said the emotional winner, who dedicated the victory to his good friend and 2011 winner, Jared Harvey.
“My body is shaking and I don’t know if I want to laugh or cry. This has just been one of most unbelievable moments of my life. You don’t really know what to do, except smile. After Jared won last year, he challenged me and I swore I would win this for him.
“I can’t wait to get him on the phone to tell him I pulled it off.”