Jordan Smith carded a joint-DP World Tour career low nine under par 62 as he took a one stroke lead after the first round of the Portugal Masters. The Englishman carded seven birdies and an eagle at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course as he goes in search of his second DP World Tour title to add to his victory at the Porsche European Open in 2017.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed a banner year in 2022 with two runner-up finishes and six further top tens. He is currently 14th on the DP World Tour Rankings in partnership with Rolex and is set to record his highest ever finish on the season-long standings.
Sharing second in Portugal on eight under par are Joost Luiten of the Netherlands and Denmark’s Jeff Winther. The pair sit one stroke ahead of Gavin Green of Malaysia, Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren and Frenchman Robin Roussel.
The Portugal Masters is the final counting event on the 2022 DP World Tour schedule, with the top 117 golfers on the DP World Tour Rankings after this tournament retaining their playing rights for 2023. After the first round, Norway’s Espen Kofstad is the current last man in, projected to finish in 117th position.
Jordan Smith: “Anything like that you’re over the moon with. I’m really happy with the way I played. I’ve been under the weather all week because I went on a stag do at the weekend and caught the flu. Not been feeling my best, they say beware the injured golfer. Considering my prep hasn’t been the best, I’m over the moon with it. “The three wood into the par five that set up the eagle or the seven iron on 13 that I hit to two foot, those were probably my highlights. I holed a lot of putts and did everything right. “(A win) is the only thing missing this year. I’ve been close a couple of times. Overall, it’s been a great year and I’m over the moon with it already. Just to top it off with a win would be amazing.”
Joost Luiten: “I hit some lovely iron shots. The greens are soft. Not a lot of rough so you need to get them close with your second shot. I’ve done well, created a lot of chances and made eight birdies. “I just have to play this tournament, see what happens. There’s no point in thinking ahead too much. I just need to play day-by-day. I want to get my card the normal way, top 117. If that doesn’t happen, I might have a back-up but it’s not a done deal yet, not 100 per cent. I want to play well and I want to win this tournament.”
Jeff Winther: “It was lovely. I was chilling all day. Two good guys to play with, we had some fun and I didn’t wait long, so it was awesome. “We played the Pro-Am yesterday and it was howling, a lot of wind. Now it’s like playing indoors. It’s not easy to putt though, they are very wet and bumpy but it’s still doable."
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