Memorable maiden European Tour win for Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith produced an excellent performance at the Porsche European Open to collect his maiden European Tour win after a thrilling head-to-head play-off battle with reigning champion Alexander Levy. Faced with the most important day of his career-to-date, the 24-year-old held his nerve superbly in a rollercoaster final day’s play.
The achievement means Smith joins an illustrious list of players who have won a European Tour title in their rookie year after his victory in one of the most exciting European Tour finales in recent memory. The victory caps off a memorable journey for the Aggreko-sponsored golfer who, since turning professional in 2014 thanks to the support of Gratte Brothers and Nike, has claimed both the PGA EuroPro Tour and Challenge Tour Order of Merit titles. This imperious form has continued into his European Tour rookie year where the young Englishman has enjoyed seven top-25 finishes; though his triumph in Hamburg represents the pinnacle of his burgeoning career.
"It's all a bit surreal. Obviously the Challenge Tour last year and the EuroPro the year before that. It's been fun. I had a really good start to the year and the first aim was just to secure my Tour card, which I have managed to do.” said Smith.
“And then the second goal was to win an event, which I've managed to do. I've loved it. It's been nerve-wracking at times but I've really enjoyed it.”
Heading into the final day’s play, Jordan managed to cool any lingering nerves with a birdie at the first to extend his lead to three shots. Four-time European Tour winner Levy reduced the deficit back to two shots as he holed in two at the second. With pressure growing from the leading pack, Jordan returned a succession of par scores until he found the edge of the water hazard at the sixth. Faced with one of the most difficult shots of the week, Jordan produced a remarkable recovery to head to the next tee still with a one-shot lead.
A scrappy period followed as Alexander Levy produced some excellent golf to head into the back nine with a one-shot lead. The deficit flitted back and forth until the pair headed to the 18th with Jordan lying behind by the one stroke. As the pair went shot-for-shot, Jordan managed to hole an excellent ten-footer to force the play-off which followed a delightful chip from the thick rough at the back of the green.
With the pressure ever-increasing, it was a true test of nerve for two golfers who had thrilled the thousands of spectators throughout the whole day. With both players making the green in two, two ninety-foot putts awaited for each. Levy, putting first, put it within five feet with a remarkable shot only for Jordan’s putt to go past the hole by a considerable ten-feet. Knowing he had to make it, Jordan stood firm to put the pressure back on the Frenchman – pressure, which told as Levy missed meaning the players returned to the tee again.
A wayward tee shot from Levy gave Jordan the upper-hand who, after a remarkable shot with the three—wood from the rough, made the green in two. As Levy ramped up the pressure, an excellent approach left Jordan with a five-foot putt to claim his win. The green fell silent as the 24-year-old stood over the most important putt of his career. As the ball fell out of sight, the crowd erupted leaving Jordan left to reflect on a rollercoaster weekend.
“I was nervous during the playoff - I was shaking actually. But to get my first European Tour win – it’s all just so surreal at the moment.”
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