Carnoustie kid comes out on top in tussle at Dunbar
Will Porter harnessed strong winds, hail storms and a spirited challenge from Ross Callan to take the 2015 Scottish Boys Championship.
The Carnoustie 17-year-old beat Bathgate ace Callan 4&3 in the 36-hole final at Dunbar to take the first major amateur title of the new season - and, afterwards, he said that past experiences of playing in tough conditions had helped him seal the deal in East Lothian.
“The weather reminded me of last year’s British Boys at Prestwick and Dundonald, with the strong wind and no rain, really,” said Porter. “I think I learnt from that experience and used it today. You have to make your score on the first nine at Dunbar and then hold on.”
Porter, who defeated top seed CalumFyfe in the quarter-finals, became the first Carnoustie golfer to get his hands on the title in 14 years, emulating Steven Brown’s victory in 2001.
“I played in this event for the first time last year and lost in the first round so I’m over the moon,” he added. “It’s cool to be on the winner’s list with some good names. I’ve looked at what Ewen [Ferguson] and Bradley [Neil], the past two Scottish Boys winners, have since achieved and that can only give me confidence.”
Porter held a one-hole lead after the first 18 holes of the final, only for Callan to square matters at the first hole of the second round.
A strong hail storm then temporarily suspended the match and, when it resumed, Glenalmond school pupil Porter came out firing. Playing the first ten holes of the second round in two-under-par gave him a four-hole lead and, though Callan clawed a hole back by winning the 29th, he was unable to make further inroads, handing victory to Porter.
For Callan, whose father, Stuart, is the Bathgate club professional and played in the 2001 Open Championship at Royal Lytham, there were many positives. Not least of which was the fact the 16-year-old didn’t expect to reach the final, having ousted the likes of Deeside’s Michael Lawrie, son of Open champion Paul, on the way.
“It’s been a great week, and I felt I hit the ball well in the final and my attitude was good,” he said afterwards. “But the putts just didn’t drop. I was never ahead, which was obviously a problem.
“I hoped to get the third round this week and I was actually at Asda in Dunbar last night to get new underwear as I didn’t expect to get this far! It was a new experience for me and hopefully it helps my game going forward.
“I only turned 16 in January so I have another two years to compete in the Scottish Boys. I’ll be back fighting.”