Jordan Smith could put the final nail in the coffin for his Henry Vardon European Tour Rookie of the Year Award bid with a win or high finish this week.
The 24-year-old Englishman won the Porsche European Open at the end of July. He followed it up two weeks later with a T9 at his first major championship start at the PGA Championship.
I believe in the concept of the rookie wall, but Smith’s plowed straight through it. He’s navigated 22 starts in 2017 with five top-10s and only two missed cuts. For his efforts, Smith is creeping toward the coveted top 50 in the world which could help him crack the World Golf Championships and the other three majors. His ticket is already punched to the 2018 PGA Championship.
Smith is a good driver of the golf ball, so if he can pipe it down this short course he should have a healthy amount of wedge shots for his approaches.
Smith is coming in fresh off of two weeks of rest. His win and other previous two top-10s have all come on the heels of at least one week away from competition. Smith has played well in poor weather before as the European Open was stop and start.
With the support of the home fans, I like Smith to challenge for his third top-10 in five starts here at Close House.