Smith has eyes on Ryder Cup spot
England’s Jordan Smith is determined to push on from winning his maiden European Tour event and is targeting a place in next year’s Ryder Cup team.
The 25-year-old turned professional in 2014 and, after sealing both the EuroPro Tour and Challenge Tour Order of Merits in 2015 and 2016 respectively, won the Porsche European Open in July.
Having beaten Frenchman Alexander Levy in a play-off, the Bath-born ace earned a spot in the year’s final major and exceeded expectations to take a share of ninth at the US PGA Championship.
The Quail Hollow result was one of four top-10s that he has produced aside from winning in Germany, and it has been an excellent start to what promises to be a stellar career for Smith.
While confident in his own ability, the former Walker Cup star knows that he will have slumps in form and results and will try to readjust his focus accordingly.
“Obviously success isn’t going to continue at the rate that it has but you’ve just got to set more goals for the future and try to accomplish them like I have over the past couple of years,” he told bunkered.co.uk.
Smith’s year began well with a third-place finish at the South African Open, finishing just behind Rory McIlroy while Graeme Storm took the title, and just a couple of weeks later he ended up sixth in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
A number of top-30s followed before a tied-eighth finish at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco and it was not until the China Open that he suffered his first missed cut.
A steady summer period culminated in European Open glory but he was unable to build on that, with three successive missed cuts in the Omega European Masters, the British Masters and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
A top-25 in Italy got him back on track but big things are now expected of the Wiltshire resident next season.
He next features in the BMW South African Open, make sure to check the upcoming odds for Smith on Betfair, which can be accessed through Casinomir.
With superstars such as Jordan Spieth Patrick Reed and Justin Thomas emerging from the US, European golf needs its own youth to step up and join the likes of McElroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia as they attempt to regain the Ryder Cup in France next year.
Smith is eager to sample the biennial event and is already thinking about who he might play with at Le Golf National.
“The main goal is definitely to play in the Ryder Cup,” he added. “The strength of my game is driving and long game so hopefully that would fit in well with one of the players I could pair up with and I’d like to think that I could give them that extra dimension because of my consistency with it.”
Smith lost both of his singles matches at the 2013 Walker Cup and did not feature in the foursomes, but it will have given him vital experience of team match play, with the likes of Matthew Fitzpatrick and Callum Shinkwin also on that side.
All three have now won on the European Tour, with Fitzpatrick part of the Ryder Cup team that lost at Hazeltine in 2016.
Europe will be desperate to make amends and need players with Smith’s positive attitude if they are to overcome the considerable obstacle of the Americans.
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