Dermot McElroy and Richard O’Donovan did their chances of a Walker Cup call up no harm at all when they finished joint second behind the impressive Englishman Garrick Porteous in the Scottish Amateur Open Strokeplay at a blustery Southerness.
The par 69 gem played so tough over the three days that the CSS for the four rounds was 75-76-74-75. Australia’s Brady Watt, the World Amateur Ranking’s No 2, finished on 23 over par.
Porteous became the third Englishman in the last five years to claim the title, winning his first major title by four strokes one one-over par thanks to rounds of 68, 69, 72 and 68.
Ballymena star McElroy saved his best stuff for last, carding an eagle three at the 18th for a best-of-the-day (and second best of the week) 67 to finish on five over alongside Lucan man O’Donovan, who closed with a 71.
Ardglass’ Cormac Sharvin was joint 19th on 16 over after a 73 while Reeve Whitson missed the halfway cut.
Porteous, 23, was second in last month’s Welsh Amateur and now looks odds on to win his place in the GB and Ireland side to face the Americans at the National Golf Links of America in September.
O’Donovan and McElroy will be be considered if they perform over the next few weeks in events such as the St Andrews Links Trophy, the Amateur Championship, the Brabazon Trophy and (if selected) the European Team Championships.
“I’ve had a lot of top-five finishes, but this is my first win so it’s special,” Porteous told the Scottish Golf Union website.
“It was just a grind. The Lytham Trophy was tough last month, but this was colder and windier. I was just solid inside six feet, with some great up and downs.”
Asked of his Walker Cup hopes, he said: “It’s a big win for me early in the season, so we’ll just wait and see. There are more big events to come, as it’s a hectic time.”