The leading British player, Jordan Smith, finished T-9 on one-under par 283. Only two years removed from competing on the EuroPro Tour – European golf’s third division – the 24-year from Bath closed with a three-under par 68 that was bogey-free until the 18th. Indeed, this latest chapter in Smith’s career is but the latest step in his seemingly seamless rise through the professional ranks. Leading money-winner on the EuroPro circuit in 2015, the former Walker Cup player repeated that feat a year later on the Challenge Tour. And this season he has already won on the European Tour, at the recent Porsche European Open.
“Jordan is really, really good,” confirmed Open Championship runner-up Matt Kuchar, who shot a 68 of his own in Smith’s company. “He drove it beautifully and long. And, although he didn’t miss many shots, when he did he was pretty good at recovering. There aren’t many weaknesses in his game. He has the sort of effortless power that reminds me of Louis Oosthuizen.”