Jordan Smith wins maiden European tour title at European Open
By Press Association
Last Updated: 31/07/17 11:38am
Jordan Smith claimed his first European Tour title after a play-off at the Porsche European Open near Hamburg.
Smith, from Bath, won at the second extra hole after finishing tied with defending champion Alex Levy on 13 under - but only after the Frenchman had missed a putt to win from inside three feet on the pair's first trip back down the 18th.
The 24-year-old Smith, who held a two shot lead overnight, began his final round with a birdie but dropped shots on the sixth and eighth to leave the door ajar for Levy, who shot a closing 69, to challenge for the lead on the back nine.
Smith regained the lead with a birdie from three feet at the 11th but left his bunker shot at the 13th short and missed a 20-footer for par.
Levy and Smith both birdied the 15th and it was the former who went ahead with another gain at the next, only for Smith to get up-and-down at the last to force a play-off with a round of 71.
Levy then missed a three-foot birdie effort as they replayed the 18th hole, but when Smith was presented with a similar opportunity on the next trip down the last he made no mistake.
Sweden's Johan Edfors (70) and Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman (68) finished tied for third on 11-under, while Scotland's Richie Ramsay and England's Ashley Chesters both recorded top-ten finishes.
After the experience of clinching his maiden victory, Smith said: "I've loved it. It's been nerve-wracking at times but I've really enjoyed it.
"It's all a bit surreal. Obviously the Challenge Tour last year and the EuroPro the year before that. It's been fun.
"I had a really good start to the year and the first aim was just to secure my Tour card, which I managed to do. And then the second goal was to win an event, which I've managed to do.
"Once he missed it [on the 18th hole] then I knew we had to start again, regroup, and just go with it. The whole week tee to green is probably the best I have played all year, probably struggled a little bit on the greens, but it came
together at the right time."
Levy was left to rue the putt he had to retain the title but the Frenchman felt he was still able to take plenty of positives from his performance in Germany.
"I struggled a bit today on the putting but I think I played really good golf and I improved my game week after week and that's really nice," he said.
"I'm really proud of what I did today. I shoot three under in the conditions that were really tough and I played really well. I think there are a lot of good things coming for me in the next few months.
"My dream was to win this tournament for my birthday present in two days but I didn't do that. I'm really pleased with what I did and I'm really happy."