So instead of heading back to Northumberland when his Augusta adventure is at an end, Porteous will start a fresh chapter by boarding an airplane to Kuala Lumpur in the company of Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen, two golfing superstars he can call “stablemates”, having joined Chubby Chandler’s ISM agency.
Porteous prays the new narrative will set off at a breakneck pace, similar to that of Rory McIlroy, Tom Lewis and, on the PGA Tour, Jordan Spieth who, as a teenager, grasped his full playing privileges last year by making the most of a few invites.
“I know it’s a tall order, but there are plenty of recent examples to prove it’s achievable,” Porteous said. “You have to aim high and I believe my game is good enough. It’s funny, if you’d have asked me a year ago about turning pro I wouldn’t have had a clue. Everything’s just become very clear. Yeah, you could say I’m excited. These are probably the biggest few weeks in my life coming up.”
Porteous flew to Atlanta on Friday and before arriving at Augusta on Saturday, will tee it up against his countryman, Matt Fitzpatrick, in the Georgia Cup on Wednesday. The 18-hole showdown at The Golf Club of Georgia, in a northern suburb of Coca-Cola City, is contested by the Amateur champion and the US Amateur champion. Rarely will the Cross of St George flutter so proudly in golf.
“To have it as an all-English final is a huge achievement, particularly if you think how global the game now is,” Porteous said. “It hasn’t happened before and it’ll probably be a long time until it happens again. There will be some pride at stake, but basically playing Matt will be good fun. The serious stuff is at the Masters.”
Porteous’s aim is to become just the third Amateur champion in the last 25 years to make the cut. He was disappointed with his performance at the Open in July last year, but showed he could mix it with the pros in South Africa in December when finishing 14th on his European Tour debut at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Porteous admits to being enchanted with the Augusta National, but is determined not to become overawed.
“I’ve actually been there quite a lot,” he said.
“When I was at Tennessee University we would get Monday practice tickets. I went three or four times. And I’ve played it twice this year, when it was just me and a local caddie. I learned a lot – mainly not to be long or short to those greens. I feel I know what it’s about, although obviously it’ll be very different in Masters week. I’m going to try to stay level-headed.”
With this in mind, Porteous will eschew the right to lodge in the clubhouse all week and share a house with his parents and his sister, Angharad, who is travelling over from California where she is completing a PhD at Stanford University. A county golfer herself, Angharad has long since claimed caddying rights for the Par-Three event.
“It’ll be good to have them there to get away from it all; except my sister will probably be the most hyped-up person in Augusta,” Porteous said.
“I’m going to stay in the Crow’s Nest on the Monday night after we’ve had the amateur dinner there – just to say I’ve done it. But from then on, it’ll be head down and focusing purely on the golf.” He sounds like a pro already.