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jordan smith

‘The last hole at the 2017 PGA Championship still bugs me!’

Jordan Smith told NCG about his introduction to major championship golf in 2017 when he headed over to North Carolina to compete for the Wanamaker Trophy
 

Jordan Smith has just a handful of major appearances in the bank in his career so far.

However, in terms of memories, he has plenty and none fonder than when making his major bow at the PGA Championship in 2017.

Making the cut at Quail Hollow was the initial aim for the Englishman, despite having just won the Porsche European Open on what used to be called the European Tour.

His win in Hamburg was arguably not on the cards based on his performances in the lead-up. He hadn’t made a top 10 since April, and this was when the PGA was held in August.

The man from Bath received a special invitation to the event in Charlotte, North Carolina where he played a warm-up round with a fellow countryman and a certain course specialist from Northern Ireland.

“It was the first major I played in the States, so it was all brand new to me,” Smith told NCG. “You’re like a kid in a candy shop as soon as you get there.

“I played a practice round with Tyrrell (Hatton) and Rory (McIlroy) and I played a practice round with Ryan Fox too.

jordan smith

“It was nice being there and soaking it all up – I just remember getting there and the course being ultra tough and there being hundreds of thousands of people watching.

“With it being my first major in the States, it was just important to make the weekend and then enjoy it.”

Smith safely did so with rounds of 70 and 75, despite making three bogeys in the last four holes of round two, and now the fun could start.

He opened his third round with a bogey too, but replied with two birdies and an eagle on the par-4 14th hole – but his most impressive golf was yet to come.

The then-24-year-old’s 68 in the final round was only bettered by five players, including Francesco Molinari who went on to finish tied second behind Justin Thomas.

This score of 3-under-par saw him vault 17 places, sneaking into a tie for ninth with Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, and Chris Stroud. Molinari was the only European to finish above Smith and they were two of just 12 players to finish in the red.

To qualify for his first major was an achievement in itself, but to secure a top-10 finish was a lofty mark not even Smith could’ve expected.

Despite competing so well on such a big stage, there was one part of the final round that still irks Smith to this day, leaving him to ponder what could’ve been.

“I always remember the bogey on the last hole,” Smith added. “If I had the chance to go back and play that – the last hole on the last day – that would’ve finished me tied for seventh. That has always bugged me.

“We made the cut and we tried to enjoy it as much as possible. I loved every minute of it and that showed in my golf.

“I felt quite relaxed and it was probably some of the best golf I’ve played.

“To finish in the top 10 of a major championship, things went well and that was amazing. It was an unreal week and it gave me a taste for the PGA Tour and being out in the States as well.”

Smith is now a two-time winner on the DP World Tour and one of the most promising talents on the continent.

With the likes of Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Justin Rose, Smith will be looking to become the first player from England to win the PGA Championship since 1919.

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NOW READ: Jordan Smith: The DP World Tour has always fed the PGA Tour

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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