Monday, January 16, 2017

Rising star Jordan Smith now 93 in world rankings after top-3 finish in South Africa

Jordan Smith continued his remarkable rise up the ranks of world golf with a top three finish on Sunday at the BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni – moving the Englishman up to 93rd in the latest Official World Golf Ranking.
The 24 year old Bath-born Englishman, who lives at Chippenham, has been on a steady ascent since turning professional in 2014, winning the satellite EuroPro Tour in 2015 before going on to top the 2016 Road to Oman Rankings during his first European Challenge Tour campaign the following season.
The reigning Road to Oman Number One, who triumphed twice last year in Egypt and Ras Al Khaimah, showed nerves of steel during the final round at Glendower Golf Club, pushing World Number Two Rory McIlroy and the experienced Graeme Storm close in front of huge crowds.
While Storm’s play-off victory over four-time Major Championship winner McIlroy has taken most of the headlines, Smith’s own Cinderella story has caught the eye of many golf fans.
After playing in just his fifth European Tour event, Smith was rightly ecstatic with his week’s work in Gauteng.
"That was insane," he said. "Like nothing I have experienced in my life and I absolutely loved it. I am very pleased.

"I was very, very nervous at the start of the round so to make those (early) putts was a big help and really settled me into the round.
"It was just such an amazing experience today, especially coming up the last hole there. Honestly – it was just insane.
"I am absolutely delighted with the week overall. I would have loved to have won but I got myself into contention and looking forward this experience will be invaluable for my future.
"I just can't wait to play in front of crowds like this again. This has exceeded all of my expectations ahead of the week. I knew I was playing well and was confident coming here but I didn't expect to end up in this situation."
Back to back wins have propelled American Justin Thomas up to No 8 in the rankings.
Russell Knox is No 18 after tieing for 11th place in the Sony Open with a closing 69 for 14 under par. The Florida-based man from Inverness  was two-over after 11 before picking up three birdies in the last seven holes
With three top 10s and five top 25s in five starts so far this season on the US PGA Tour’s wraparound schedule, "Knoxy" is sitting eighth in the FedEx Cup with earnings of $1,038,334.
A million dollars already! Nice work if you can get it!

Updated World top 21 pros:
1 Jason Day.                                        11 Bubba Watson
2 Rory McIlroy                                    12 Danny Willett
3 Dustin Johnson                                 13 Justin Rose
4 Henrik Stenson                                 14 Rickie Fowler
5 Jordan Spieth                                    15 Sergio Garcia
6 Hideki Matsusyama                          16 Paul Casey
7 Adam Scott                                       17 Brendon Grace
8 Justin Thomas                                   18 Russell Knox
9 Patrick Reed                                      19 Brooks Koepka
10 Alex Noren                                      20 Matt Kuchar
                             21 Phil Mickelson




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