Garrick Porteous
Garrick Porteous in action at the Abu Dhabi Challenge Image Credit: Supplied

The UAE golf scene will be keeping a close eye on tomorrow’s final of the Abu Dhabi Challenge, with Dubai resident Garrick Porteous in a three-way tie for the lead at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club.

The Englishman, who moved to the UAE last year, carded a third round 64, consisting of seven birdies and one bogey, to ensure he will tee off in the final group tomorrow, alongside five-time DP World Tour winner Alex Levy and Wilco Nienaber.

“It was great fun,” said Porteous, whose wife is a teacher in Dubai.

“I really like it up here in Al Ain and the golf course is in great shape despite the weather we’ve had. I just seem to be hitting a lot of shots close, which has given me plenty of opportunities out there.”

Since moving to Dubai last September, the 34-year-old has been a regular at Trump International Golf Club, taking up membership to ensure he can take advantage of the state-of-the-art facility all year round.

The move to the UAE has turned out to be a fruitful one, with Porteous crediting the world-class facilities and glorious weather the country has to offer as one of the reasons for an improvement in his game.

“I feel fortunate enough to practice on a more regular basis than I would do back home in Newcastle,” said Porteous, who is a DP World Tour member but playing this week to get the competitive juices flowing ahead of his next start on golf’s global circuit next month in Belgium.

“I’ve been able to improve my short game, my chipping and putting have improved massively since moving out here. They are the two things I’ve struggled with the last few years, so to be able to practice them every day out here has helped hugely.

If he were to finish the job tomorrow and get his hands on the trophy, it would mark Porteous’ second win on the Challenge Tour after victory at the 2017 Prague Golf Challenge.

Despite not finding himself in this position a whole lot over the course of his career, Porteous is hoping his new-found “happy place” helps him taste silverware once again.

“It would be brilliant to win on what is now home soil, I guess,” he said.

“It’s been a while since winning in Prague back in 2017. Things have certainly been improving for me in the last year and a bit, especially since covid.

“I think I’ve found a happy place with my golf, so to be close to the lead has been something new for a while. It will be exciting to go out there tomorrow and compete.”