North Richland Hills, Texas
2003 Inductee, Player Category
Born: July 9, 1962
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
Residence: North Richland Hills, Texas
Occupation: Mortgage Loan Consultant
Joined PPA: 1979
PPA National Tour Victories: 10
PPA Lifetime Stroke Average: 28.00
PPA Career Prize Money Winnings: $88,000
PPA Major Championships: 1994 PPA National Championship; 1985 Putt-Putt National Open TV Series Championship, 1981 Super Putter TV Series Championship, 1981 PPA Eastern Open, 1980 PPA Western Open; 1979 PPA Eastern Open
Other PPA National Tour Victories: 1983 Forth Worth Open; 1982 Dallas Open; 1981 Oklahoma City Open; 1981 Lawton Open
PPA Television Appearances: 1987, 1985, 1982, 1981 (Record: 6-2)
PPA Television Prize Money Winnings: $27,000
PPA Texas State Tour Highlights: 1999 PPA Texas State Championship; 1999 PPA Texas Open; 1994 PPA Texas Open; 1993 PPA Texas Open;1992 PPA Texas Open ; 1991 PPA Texas State Championship; 1985 PPA Texas State Championship; 1984 PPA Texas State Championship; 30 other PPA Texas State Tour victories
PPA Oklahoma State Tour Highlights: 1985 PPA Oklahoma State Championship; 1984; 1979 PPA Oklahoma State Championship.
Other PPA Achievements: 2003 PPA Hall of Fame, Player Category; 2003 PPA National Players Advisory Board; 1999 PPA Texas Putting Legend; 1997 PPA Texas State Tour Player of the Year; 1985 PPA Tour Leading Money Winner; 1981 PPA Tour Leading Money Winner; 1979 PPA Rookie of the Year.
Few men in the history of the Professional Putters Association have brandished a putter as Marc Portugal.
I played my first game with my sister, he says and she beat me.
Portugal began his putting career in earnest in 1974 at age 10 on the Putt-Putt Golf Course in Waco, Texas, competing in the Junior Putters of America and the Amateur Putters Association. He qualified for the APA World Championship Regionals at age 12, and at age 14 won back-to-back APA World Championship Regional events in Houston, Texas, and Wichita Falls, Texas. He narrowly missed winning the APA National Amateur title the same season in Columbus, Ohio, losing by one stroke to hometown product Steve Guyton. He won two more APA events in 1978 and advanced to the APA World Championship quarterfinals. As a result of his APA career, he was invited to join the Professional Putters Association in 1979, and in only his second competitive event at age 16, claimed the $10,000 PPA Eastern Open in Winston-Salem, NC, by three strokes over 1975 PPA National Champion Ray Browning, Randy Stone and Bobby Gilmore.
It was the first of what would be 6 PPA major titles. Portugal would win the 1980 PPA Western Open, the 1981 PPA Eastern Open, the 1981 Super Putter TV Series Championship, the 1985 Putt-Putt National Open TV Series Championship and the 1994 PPA National Championship to bring his career record in major events to six, second only to Greg Ward, the PPA Hall of Famer, who has seven major titles. He earned PPA National Championship, the sports most coveted title, in Charleston, W. Va.
The PPA National Championship was the one that had eluded me most of my career, Portugal said. It was the one that I wanted most. The one I cherish most.
He retired from the sport in 1999 with more than $88,000 in PPA money winnings and more than 35 victories, including the 1999, 1991, 1985 and 1984 PPA Texas State Championships, the 1999, 1994, 1993 and 1992 PPA Texas State Open, the 1985 and 1984 PPA Oklahoma State Championship and 4 PPA syndicated television appearances He was the PPA Tours leading money winner in 1985 and 1981 and the PPA Rookie of the Year in 1979.
There were so many people important to my career, says Portugal, who was inducted as the 34th member of the Professional Putters Association Hall of Fame on July 31 at the 44th Annual PPA National Championship Banquet in Lubbock, Texas. There was Keith Barfield, my Junior Putters Association coach,. Sidney Barnes, who was my first-year APA coach and my mentor. Steve Willmann, who taught me how to control my emotions in competition, and Ed Haggerty, who kept me motivated to keep reaching to be one of the best in the sport. The PPA Hall of Fame is the ultimate prize in my career.