Harrison Endycott and Gavin Hall are on the same mission: reach the professional golf ranks and make a career of it. Each one knows that tournaments are measured in one, small way by wins and losses. The larger picture, and the more valuable lessons, aren’t recounted on the stats sheets or in the newspapers and magazines. On Saturday in Lewiston, each golfer hoped to plan and execute 65 to 70 shots as well as possible. This would be the measurement for success. The 2016 Porter Cup imitated a recent major professional championship, in which two seasoned professionals outdistanced the rest of the tournament field, establishing a head-to-head competition with each other. Although both performed magnificently, only one could claim victory. Thus it was in Lewiston on Saturday.
Hall began the day with a four shot lead over his Australian counterpart. Endycott scribbled five birdies on his scorecard, while Hall could only tally three. Given those numbers, Hall’s advantage would shrink to two. However, Hall made a double bogey on the second hole and a pair of bogeys on the first two par threes on the inward half. Endycott’s only blemish was an inconceivable bogey on the par five eleventh. By all rights, the tournament should have ended there.
Hall turned in even par, following the double with two birdies. Endycott made a pair of birdies on the front, so the margin was sliced to two with nine to play. On the very same hole that Endycott bogied, Hall rolled in a birdie putt to double the advantage to the original four strokes, with a mere seven holes to play. This is the point that the average amateur golfer seems to miss: a champion rebounds. A champion ignores the last shot and moves on to the next with aplomb.
Buoyed perhaps by Hall’s bogey on 12, Endycott birdied 13 and 14 and the lead was down to one. The players stepped to the tee on the 16th hole, the first of two closing par threes. Endycott made birdie to Hall’s bogey, and the number were reversed. The Australian national team member now held the one-stroke advantage. Four pars later, no blood was drawn and the one-shot margin remained.
Finishing third was Porter Cup fan favorite Scott Harvey, the “Beef” of the amateur ranks, at -5. Closing fast (perhaps a bit attention-hung-over from all the media requests after last week’s RBC Canadian Open) was Jared du Toit of Canada, tied with countryman Josh Whalen at -4. Virat Badhwar of San Jose, CA and Stanford, rebounded from his Friday 75 with a Saturday 66, tied with Endycott for low round of the day. That work returned Badhwar to a 6th place tie with Alejandro Tosi, Justin Tereshko and Max Greyserman at -3.