Since turning pro in 2014, Jordan Smith has won four times en route to the European Tour. He tells GM about his meteoric rise...

Exclusive Interview: Jordan Smith “I Want To Be World Number One”

Since turning pro in 2014, Jordan Smith has won four times en route to the European Tour.

He picked up his maiden European Tour title at the Porsche European Open, where he defeated Alex Levy in a playoff.

He tells GM about his meteoric rise…

How did you get into golf?

I watched The Masters with my dad when I was 12 or 13. I was lucky to be living close to Bowood golf course. My dad wasn’t a golfer and I was more into rugby and football. When I was 16 I started taking it more seriously and I got into the Wiltshire squad. Then I was invited to the south-west training squad. I got into the county finals playing for Wiltshire at Ganton and holed the winning putt – the first time that Wiltshire had won it. Then I got invited to England training.

So it’s all happened really quickly?

Yeah, it’s incredible really. I keep having to pinch myself. I only turned pro a couple of years ago.

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Can you tell us a bit about the 2013 Walker Cup?

On paper I think we had a really strong team. Obviously America had home advantage. In the end we got hammered, but to play on a great course, in front of huge crowds, was incredible. It was a great experience and we got looked after really well.

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Jordan Smith with the Road to Oman Rankings trophy in Muscat, Oman. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

What’s the reality of being a pro?

In my final year as an amateur I went to Asian Tour Q-School and European Tour Q-School just to get that experience. I didn’t get through any of them, but it really helped me learn what pro golf is like. It taught me how to play well under pressure. It’s completely different to amateur golf.

There wouldn’t be too many professional golfers who have won more tournaments than you over the last few years. Do you have a knack for winning?

I guess winning on the EuroPro Tour and the Algarve Tour helped my confidence. Getting in that situation of being in contention was great. I was ready to go when I arrived on the Challenge Tour. It was a bit of a bigger stage, but I won the second event of the season so it was really nice to get that one in early.

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Can you tell us about the EuroPro Tour? What’s it like?

I enjoyed it. You’re driving around the UK staying with players you’ve played a lot of amateur golf with. The standard is good. You have 15 or 20 guys who are always up there at the top. You’re not playing on immaculate courses every week and the weather isn’t the best, but the standard is good. Tyrrell Hatton came up that way.

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What about the step up from EuroPro to the Challenge Tour? 

There’s a big step up. Obviously there’s more travelling involved, playing in a different country each week. It was a learning curve. I quite enjoy being away from home.

And what about the step from Challenge Tour to European Tour?

It’s a bigger step from EuroPro to Challenge but now, on the European Tour, I’m playing with players that I used to watch on the TV – legends of the game. It’s nice having them congratulate me for winning on the Challenge Tour. I feel a bit star struck and don’t know what to say!

What are your goals for 2017?

They changed a bit after I came third in South Africa because now I’m in the top 100. Now my aim is definitely to play in a Major and then get inside the top 50 and hopefully win an event.

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Smith with Rory McIlroy after playing together in the final group of the South African Open. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

How can you make that next step?

I think as long as I keep getting myself in those situations I’ll get there. South Africa was a really big learning curve, getting that experience playing alongside who I think is the best golfer in the world, Rory McIlroy. The crowds were massive so that’s helped.

What did you learn from that?

I learned I’ve got the game to match him. Obviously if I’d been told that six months ago I’d have thought “no way.” After the round he told me “you’ve got a good game and you’ll have a good season,” which was great.

If we were to be sat here in five years, what would you like to have achieved?

I know it sounds cheesy but I want to be World No.1. I want to win a Major.

Interview from earlier in 2017, Jordan Smith won his first European Tour title at the Porsche European Open.