DUBAI // A day around a pristine Majlis course, playing alongside one of your golfing heroes and even outscoring him, and in contention for a second European Tour title weeks after landing your first: life is not bad for Haydn Porteous.
The South African, 21, has enjoyed a rapid rise this season, having delivered a firm endorsement of his ability by winning last month’s Joburg Open and is regularly name-checked as a star of the future.
The good times have continued at this week's Omega Dubai Desert Classic, with Porteous carding a third-round 66 to move to 12-under par and four shots off leader Danny Willett with 18 holes to play.
That he did that with Henrik Stenson close at hand was a rather nice bonus, too.
“Henrik is one of my favourites,” Porteous said. “I remember following him at Sun City when he made it look like a mashie course with a 3-wood, 2-wood. It was just a dream come true to play with someone like that, and actually experience what sort of guy he was. No complaints, really good guy.”
In fact, Stenson took four shots more to get through the round. Yet as the current world No 6, the 2013 Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup champion, and a former winner of the Desert Classic, there remains much to admire about the Swede.
Porteous is therefore understandably a fan, and not simply because of the impressive roll of honour. It is everything that comes with it.
“Just that little bit of swagger to him,” Porteous said. “He hits it a long way and he’s just a cool cat, isn’t he?”
Porteous’s game is starting to show a significant strut, as well.
“I’m trying. I’m trying,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m keeping up with Henrik, but I’m trying and I think that’s all that counts.”
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