Tshwane Open   

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TSHWANE, February 10 – Coming off a share of eighth at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic last week, Haydn Porteous is looking to continue his purple patch at the 2016 Tshwane Open at Pretoria Country Club. 

After winning the Joburg Open, Porteous has not only needed to adjust to new destinations, but to the golfing stars that come along with obtaining full exemption on the European Tour.

Speaking at the pro-am event the day before the first round of the Tshwane Open, Porteous said, “I’m now playing in tournaments I didn’t think I was going to be getting into, obviously these last three weeks in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, it’s a new experience and it was a good week last week at Dubai with a top 10 finish with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, it’s just a great experience.”

Paired with Stenson during round three of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Porteous said playing with the sixth best golfer in the world was eye-opening. “You know you can see that he’s sixth in the world, he can obviously play the game and he hit some shots that were eye-opening.”

As Porteous plays more golf around the world and gains new experiences, he is slowly but surely starting to realize that he belongs amongst the best in the world. He said.”I think it’s really opened up my eyes, you know I actually deserve to be there and I can keep up with the boys that are top 10 in the world.”

Speaking about the round with Stenson, Porteous only had good things to say. “What a nice guy, very easy to talk to, quite a cool dude. He was very open and spoke about not only golf but a lot of his personal life and it was nice to actually realize he’s human. He talks about the same things and you know he’s not a machine. He was just a really nice guy and it was a great experience and obviously to shoot 66 with him was just as special.”

As great an experience as it was for Porteous to play alongside Stenson, the Swede must have been rather taken aback with the power on display from the Joburg Open champion. Stenson, one of the longer hitters on the European Tour, often saw himself outgunned off the tee. Asked about what Stenson said when he hit it 20 yards past the Swede, Porteous said. “He didn’t say anything. I don’t think he was pleased.”