Challenge Tour winner Jordan Smith was given the honour of striking the first tee shot of the 2017 Race to Dubai, as the young Englishman was in the first group out on the opening morning of the Australian PGA Championship.
Smith, who was competing on the satellite EuroPro Tour only last year, has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the golfing ranks and will be hoping to carry the superb form he showed on the Challenge Tor into his maiden season on the European Tour.
The 24 year old from Bath claimed two titles and finished runner-up twice in a sensational season on the Challenge Tour en route to winning the Road to Oman Rankings with 239,985 points.
Smith will now bid to emulate the achievements of Ricardo Gouveia, who finished 54th in the Race to Dubai after ending last season as the Challenge Tour’s Number One.
Before teeing off at 6am local time at RACV Royal Pines, on Queensland’s Gold Coast, Smith said: “I’m obviously honoured that I was given the chance to hit the first tee shot of the Race to Dubai, and I can’t wait to get my first season on the European Tour underway. Everything’s happened so quickly in my career so far, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind but the last couple of years have obviously been great for my confidence.
“I’m loving this week so far. Australia’s a great country and the weather’s been really good so far, so it’s been a lot of fun up to this point but it’s down to business and the serious work starts now.”