Jordan Smith looks for breakthrough win at Porsche European Open

Jordan Smith Porsche European Open Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Jordan Smith looks for breakthrough win at Porsche European Open

Euro Tour

Jordan Smith looks for breakthrough win at Porsche European Open

Golf fans are getting used to young Englishmen excelling on the European Tour. This week’s $2.35 million Porsche European Open is no different. 

Jordan Smith is bidding to join Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan and others in the ever-growing stable of young English winners.

The 24-year-old takes a two-shot lead into the final round over defending champion Alexander Levy of France and Sweden’s Jens Fahrbring after posting a 5-under 67 to reach 12 under par. Thirty-six hole leader Ashley Chesters is one of six players sharing fourth on nine under.

Smith began the day on seven under par, just two shots off Chesters’ lead. However, he birdied three holes on his front nine to tie Chesters at the top of the leaderboard.  Two birdies on the inward half, including the final hole, gives the highly-rated Smith the chance for his first European Tour win. 

The native of Bath, England has taken a conventional route to the European Tour. Smith turned professional in 2014 after playing in the 2013 Walker Cup match at the National Golf Links on Long Island. He played the EuroPro Tour, a British mini tour, in 2015 and topped its order of merit to gain a card on the European Challenge Tour.

He did the same on Europe’s junior circuit, winning twice on the Challenge Tour last season to finish top of the money list and secure full playing rights on the main tour.

Smith hasn’t looked out of his depth on the main tour this season, with just two missed cuts from 20 events. More importantly, he has three top 10s, including third in the BMW SA Open, and lies 42nd on the money list.

Aficionados of the British amateur game have had high expectations of Smith since he won the 2013 English Amateur Open Stroke Play Championship. Don’t be surprised if he meets those expectations by becoming the latest young English winner. 

He’ll face a stiff challenge from Levy, who won this title last year after defeating another strong Englishman. Levy took down long-hitting Ross Fisher at the second hole of a sudden death playoff to become the youngest Frenchman at age 26 years and 55 days to win three European Tour titles. 

Former Duke University player Julien Suri is one of those sharing fourth place. He, too, is chasing his first European Tour win.

Chesters shouldn’t be discounted either. He has experience playing under the most extreme pressure after finishing joint 12th as an amateur in the 2015 Open Championship at St Andrews.

Chesters earned his card at last year’s European Tour Qualifying School. The 28-year-old hasn’t been as consistent as his younger peer. He’s missed seven of 14 cuts to lie 142nd on the money list.

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