30th April 2018
It proved to be a memorable week for the MB Partners golfing stable with success aplenty on both the European Tour and Challenge Tour. While Alexander Björk’s maiden European Tour title at the Volvo China Open grabbed the headlines, there were a number of excellent performances as the golfing season enters the summer months.
Björk was joined at the Topwin Golf & Country Club by fellow European Tour stablemates, Jordan Smith and Chris Hanson, who both delivered excellent displays. A strong performance on moving day was the key catalyst for Yorkshireman Hanson as he closed the week in T27 while Jordan enjoyed a blistering eight-under-par final round of 64 to lift him to a T3 finish.
Carding back-to-back rounds of 71 saw Chris safely negotiate the cut as he headed into the weekend looking to pick up more valuable Race To Dubai points, to follow up on another positive performance at the Trophee Hassan II the week before.
Moving day saw Chris do exactly that as he climbed twenty-five places up the leaderboard into T25 thanks to five birdies and an eagle. Signing for a third-round of 67, the Yorkshireman headed into the final day’s play with it all to play for.
A measure of consistency, Chris followed up his third day exploits strongly to card his fourth consecutive under-par round of the week as he gained a further two shots during the final day’s play. This ensured that Chris returned a T27 position for the week, leaving China with an overall score of nine-under-par.
Elsewhere, Jordan Smith delivered an imperious performance on his way to a season’s high T3 finish. The opening day’s play was a sign of things to come as the Aggreko-sponsored golfer signed for a three-under-par opener to position himself nicely in T18 overnight.
Day two brought much of the same for the 24-year-old as he carded a consecutive three-under-par score to make the cut comfortably and leave himself in a strong position ahead of the weekend. Gaining a further two shots on moving day, Jordan had left himself in a strong position but it was the final day where the Wiltshire-based golfer stole many of the headlines.
A blemish-free round of 64 saw Jordan sign for the joint-lowest score of the week as his eight birdies took him to a final overall score of sixteen under. Holding the clubhouse lead for the majority of the final day, Smith was left to wait patiently to discover whether his total would prove out of reach for the day’s latter playing groups. As the close of play drew ever closer, Jordan’s total was eventually surpassed late in the day as the Englishman returned an excellent T3 result.
Challenge Tour matters headed to Turkey this week for the Turkish Airlines Open where Garrick Porteous was joined by Nick Marsh, who was making his season debut following his successful PGA EuroPro Tour season in 2017.
Taking no time at all to adjust to his new surroundings, Nick posted five birdies on the opening day as he signed for a one-under-par opening round to leave himself in with a chance of making the cut. Unfortunately, whilst battling with the difficult day two conditions, Nick found himself departing at the halfway stage after a two-over-par second round meant he narrowly missed the cut.
Having kick-started his Road to Ras Al Khaimah journey a fortnight earlier in China, Garrick Porteous enjoyed another strong showing in Turkey this time around. Opening the week with a five-under-par first round, the Penny Petroleum-sponsored golfer looked set to enjoy a positive week.
With the weather conditions forcing the Englishman to play out his second round over two days, Garrick was faced with a nerve-jangling sixty foot birdie putt to force his way into the cut on the morning of day three. Managing to hole out in style, Garrick progressed into the third round buoyed by the dramatic ending to his second round.
Climbing the leaderboard thanks to a four-under-par round on moving day, the 28-year-old headed into the final day’s play in T22 with his eyes set on forcing his way into the top-ten.
Signing off for the week in the best possible fashion, Garrick delivered a bogey-free four-under-par final round as he proved to be one of Sunday’s biggest movers as he departed Turkey with a T9 finish and having claimed yet more valuable Road to Ras Al Khaimah points.
A quieter week beckons for the MB Partners stable this week with just two players in action. Golf Sixes takes the headlines this week on the European Tour which sees Alexander Björk as our sole participant while Nick Marsh heads to Spain for the Challenge Tour’s Challenge de España.