Jordan Smith capped off a stellar season on the European Challenge Tour with a top-20 finish at the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final – which secured him the 2016 Road to Oman Rankings title.
The Englishman arrived on Europe’s top developmental tour eight months ago as an Order of Merit champion – after topping the satellite EuroPro Tour’s Rankings in 2015 – and he carried on his winning form in Egypt in only his second start of the season.
The 23 year old came close to further victories in the Czech Republic and in Kazakhstan, but would have to wait until the penultimate event of the season in Ras Al Khaimah before he could add a second Challenge Tour trophy to his mantelpiece.
With seven top-ten finishes and more than €200,000 earned in prize money, the man from Bath joins an illustrious list of Rankings winners including Andrew Johnston, Edoardo Molinari, Henrik Stenson and Thomas Bjørn, among others.
“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I am sure when it is all announced and I get the trophy in my hands it will hit home,” he said.
“I didn’t play my best this week but I just went out there to enjoy it. I had my mum, my coach and my auntie all out supporting me and it has been great to be able to have them here.
“Walking off the green it was emotional, mainly from my Mum, and it was really nice to be able to have her here to when I finished.
“I was over the moon to finish top of the Order of Merit on the EuroPro Tour last year, and I never would have imagined I would go on to do what I have on the Challenge Tour this season.
“My aim at the start of the year was to keep my Challenge Tour card, and now I have a European Tour card, so now I can go out and play next year and have fun.”
Smith, who finished the season with 209,985 points, fought off challenges from Bernd Ritthammer, Alexander Knappe and Ryan Fox, who all pushed him close to topping the Rankings.
Having sewn up the top spot on Europe’s top developmental tour, the young Englishman is confident that he can go on and compete on the European Tour next season.
“The Challenge Tour has definitely prepared me for next season,” he said. “Travelling inside and outside of Europe and living out of a suitcase is something that has taken some getting used to, but I feel ready for next year.
“I like to think that I will be able to go out and compete on the European Tour next year, and hopefully win.
“Over the season I have picked up a lot of friends. When you are going out for dinner and staying with each other week in week out, you really start to get along – that camaraderie has been a big part of this year.”