When the hopes of a whole golf club rested on one man, Matthew Jordan delivered, and then some, to make an impressive start to The Open Championship
Matthew Jordan carried the weight of an entire golf club to the 1st tee of The Open.
He couldn’t say how many members followed him around the Merseyside links, but for a few hours, the World No.329 became the pied piper of Hoylake.
Not only did he overcome the jittery prospect of striking the tournament’s first shot, he carded four birdies on his way to a 69 on a day when mounting expectation could’ve taken its toll.
Ahead of his 5am alarm, Jordan visualised what scene would take shape in the early hours of Thursday morning and it was one of many times his emotions caused him to smile and embrace the occasion.
“I’m running out of words to describe it,” Jordan said. “It was crazy, mental, loud, everything I could’ve wished for. I’m certainly trying to think of a better experience than that and I don’t think I can.
“Obviously with the occasion and everything going on to start with, I’m really happy to break 70, that’s one thing. If you do that, you can’t be displeased.
“Emotion-wise, I knew it was coming so I was just trying to go through my prep and make sure everything was going OK, and then I envisioned it the night before and went through my head.
We are underway at The Open! 🏆— National Club Golfer (@NCG_com) July 20, 2023
What a moment for Matthew Jordan 👏pic.twitter.com/uOb1pWVZm0
“Going through the tunnel, becoming loud, meeting the starter, meeting the players and it just gave me a bit of comfort that I knew what to expect. So when I went there, there was nothing out of the blue.
“I had family and my girlfriend’s parents, my girlfriend was there for the first six or seven holes. She had to work, she didn’t see me make a bogey and leave!
“She had to go and work and from then on, I just saw so many different members. It’s hard to put a number on it and it’s hard to tell you who was there. I saw them all dotted around all the time.”
Three of Jordan’s birdies came on the opening nine, but his most impressive came on 16 when he pierced a low iron to 20 feet after a wayward drive, which he then dispatched.
If his reception on the 1st hole was his best moment of the day, his second best may have come on 17 when finding the green on what’s become a contentious feature of the course.
“I honestly didn’t expect them to go that crazy. Even when I walked on, I was smiling, and I thought I’ve still got to hit the shot here. I just hit the green, and it was almost like I holed it.
“Everyone just went crazy and I couldn’t not smile. I had about three or four moments out there where the emotion took over and I had to smile.”
The Englishman will no doubt be grateful for a more forgiving tee time on Friday at 11.36am, when he’ll look to rise up a leaderboard on which he is already well-placed.
NOW READ: Everything you need to know at The Open
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