Jordan Smith storms to top ten finish in major debut
Jordan Smith’s rapid rise through the golfing ranks continued this week as he stormed to an excellent T9 finish in the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, in what was the Englishman’s major debut. A final round of 68 saw the Wiltshire-based golfer end the week as the highest ranked British player and the second highest placed European.
The Aggreko-supported golfer gained a late entry to the year’s final major event of the year, following his maiden European Tour victory at the Porsche European Open a fortnight earlier. The 24-year-old, who was playing on the PGA EuroPro Tour just two years ago, has enjoyed an unprecedented rise through the game with back-to-back Order of Merit titles predating his achievements over the last month.
The week was Jordan’s first taste of action on American soil and he made an excellent recovery on day one after a difficult start. Driving into the bunker at the first, Jordan found himself three-shots over par after his first three holes but duly responded with three consecutive birdies through holes six to eight.
The par five fifteenth nearly provided a moment to remember for Jordan on day one, as his second approach shot ran just wide of the hole as a famous albatross evaded the young Englishman. With much of the field toiling, Jordan carded a one-under par first round to lie in T15 overnight.
The second day’s play proved more of a struggle for Jordan as the course continued to get the better of the field, yet a four-over par second round was still enough to make the cut – an achievement itself in a player’s major debut.
Not yet content, Jordan replicated his one-under par first round on day three as he moved back inside the top-thirty thanks to an eagle at the fourteenth where the Gratte Brothers-sponsored player gained 305 yards in just two shots.
The British youngster saved his best until last though, as a three-under par final round lifted him into a memorable T9 finish with the only blemish on his fourth-round scorecard coming on the eighteenth.
“I’m really, really happy with the way I played on the final day,” Smith said. “It was a bit of a shame about the last but overall I’m just really chuffed with myself with the whole week.”
“I’m still pinching myself. I’ve had some really good groups, enjoyed the whole experience and ended up playing some really good golf so I am happy.
“I’ve just been letting it all happen and enjoying myself. I’ve put in some hard work with my team back home and I am going out enjoying myself. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing, it’s working so far so I’m just hoping that the progression can keep going.”
The result saw Jordan finish as the highest-ranked British player for the week and the second-highest European player behind Francesco Molinari. The Wiltshire-based golfer now sits in 16th place on the Race to Dubai as well as a new career-high world ranking of 69th.
The 24-year-old now enjoys a two-week break before looking to continue his imperious form at the D+D REAL Czech Masters at the end of the month.
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