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Porter completes fine Australian week

(Photo: Anthony Powter)
To quote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "˜when he was good he was very good and when he was bad he was horrid'. So could be said of highly talented Sydney golfer Ewan Porter who today won his second Nationwide Tour event 26 months after his first but in between there has been a title and prize-money drought.

Porter held on down the stretch to win the South Georgia Classic in Valdosta by one over Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas with a further shot back to Brandt Jobe.

Porter had missed all six of his 2010 cuts leading into this week's event but just as he had done when winning the Nationwide Tour's Moonah Classic in February of 2008, once he got himself into position to contend, there was no stopping him.

He started the final round one behind last week's runner up David Hearn but by the turn, courtesy of his won good play an a lapse by Hearn, Porter was in front. He went further ahead when he chipped in from behind the green at the 10th and then when he birdied the par five 11th, from just off the green, he had moved three ahead of Hearn and Jhonattan Vegas.

The gap closed when Porter bogeyed the 14th despite narrowly avoiding the water at the par three and Vegas, in just his second season on the Nationwide Tour, birdied the 16th but Porter was able to hold on to win the event and the US$112,500 first prize.

The highlight of Porter's year to date had been when qualifying for the 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews having done that via the International Final Qualifying at Kingston Heath in February, a feat he has accomplished in three of his last four years. This win however gives his career direction once again and the chance of graduating to the PGA Tour for the first time is back on the agenda. He now moves to 6th on the Nationwide Tour money list.

Porter's win adds to Australian performances in golfing events worldwide this week. The win of Marcus Fraser in Korea, the 5th place by Greg Chalmers at the Zurich Classic, the runner up finish by Nikki Campbell in Japan and the 4th place finish by Brendan Jones on the Japan Golf Tour has made for a very impressive week worldwide by Australians.

Nick Flanagan and Gavin Coles were the next best Australians after Porter finishing 20th with Alistair Presnell and New Zealander Bradley Iles the next best Australasians in 24th position.

The Nationwide Tour will now play the Stadion Athens Classic in Athens Georgia.

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