Marcus Armitage earns European Tour breakthrough at Porsche European Open

AN emotional Marcus Armitage thanked the people who had helped him reach the mountain top, but ultimately said his breakthrough win on the European Tour was for him.

Marcus Armitage in front of the crowds celebrates his victory in the Porsche European Open (Picture: Getty Images)
Marcus Armitage in front of the crowds celebrates his victory in the Porsche European Open (Picture: Getty Images)

The 33-year-old from Huddersfield who plays out of Howley Hall in Morley stormed through the field with six birdies and an eagle in 14 holes at the Green Eagle Golf Course in Hamburg to establish a four-shot lead in the 54-hole Porsche European Open.

He then dropped just one shot over the closing four holes as the players behind him tried but failed to match his score.

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It means after years of bouncing around between the Challenge Tour and the EuroPro Tour, he is at last a winner on the main circuit at the 81st time of asking, and in this, just his third full season on the European Tour.

Victory at last for Marcus Armitage (Picture: Getty Images)

“It hasnt really sunk in yet, it’s a new feeling,” he said just moments after Matthew Southgate and Darius van Driel failed to eagle the par-five 18th to force a play-off.

“It’s funny because when we had a pratice round the other day I’ve never lost as many golf balls in my life. So to be stood here as the Porsche European Open champion is pretty cool.”

Golf has witnessed some uplifting moments in recent weeks – a major return for Phil Mickelson, a long overdue win for Gordon Bland – but Armitage’s achievement is right up there.

“I’m an emopional guy and I’m struggling to keep it in right now,” he said.

Marcus Armitage of England reacts on the 17th green of The Porsche European Open at Green Eagle Golf Course on June 07, in Hamburg, Germany. (Picture: Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

“You start thinking about everyone at home, my fiance, what it means and that’s when the emotion comes up.

“Twenty years ago I lost my mum...and I’ve dreamed about this since that day, being a winner. There are times when you think this might not happen.

“But I’ve struck at it and today is a great day and I’m sure she would be proud.

“Out of everybody in my team that has helped me, this one is for me, for all those lonely days working at my dream.

Marcus Armitage playing on the 2020 ProTour at Huddersfield Golf Club last October (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“I think I’ve got to take a lot of credit for this myself.”

Beginning the day four shots off the lead, Armitage – who recently set a new Guinness World Record for the longest shot (303 yards) caught in a moving car – birdied the first and third before holing out from 80 yards for an eagle on the par-four seventh.

He almost repeated the feat on the ninth to set up a tap-in birdie and complete the front nine in just 29 strokes, before birdies on the 11th, 12th and 14th took him four shots clear.

Armitage gave the chasing pack hope on the 16th, surprisingly opting to putt from short of the green despite having more than 100 feet to the hole but he held it together over the final two holes.

Huddersfield's Marcus Armitage poses with the trophy and volunteers after winning The Porsche European Open at Green Eagle Golf Course in Hamburg, Germany. (Picture: Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Victory is a timely one as well, as with it he books a spot in the field for next week’s US Open at Torrey Pines.

“To go to Torrey Pines, San Diego, where I watched Tiger win back in ’08 is going to be a special, special trip. I can’t wait,” said Armitage.

The victory will have been greeted warmly at his club Howley Hall, just as it was by his performance coach Duncan McCarthy, who has been by Armitage’s side for much of the highs and lows.

“It means so much because you know what the journey means to him,” said McCarthy.

“He’s always had the ability, it was just a matter of improving him as a person and bringing that out of him. This last 12 months we’ve been working together again he has become a better listener.

“The challenge for Marcus now is to kick on from here.”