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Jordan reflects on Hillside success

By Richard Williamson

THE huddle of waiting media that had greeted Matthew Jordan on day one of the British Betfred Masters had switched their attentions to a different story as eventual champion Marcus Kinhult came down the finishing stretch of the final round.

The Royal Liverpool golfer had found himself plunged into the national spotlight after a stunning first round 63, nine under par, bogey-free and a new course record at Hillside Golf Club, on the outskirts of Southport and nestled up against Royal Birkdale.

The 23 year-old, who only turned professional last year, handled the attention with a quietly-spoken assuredness – similar to the unruffled way he went about his work throughout the week, which bodes well for what may lie ahead for the former Walker Cup player.

Even an errant pheasant on day two could not derail him and while it was always going to be a tall order to match the dizzying heights of last Thursday, he stood his ground throughout the week to finish on nine under and in a share of 15th place.
Prize money of nearly 45,000 euros his best pay day yet in just 11 tournament starts as a Tour professional, eclipsing the 29,000 he picked up for a 32nd place finish in just his third event at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, an early indicator of his rich promise.
It is back to the second-tier Challenge Tour for Jordan, who was playing at Hillside on an invitation, to continue his golfing education, but having tasted life on the European Tour it has certainly whetted his appetite for a speedy return.
“If I had been offered a top 20 at the start I would have taken it,” said Jordan, “but obviously after the way the first round went I was perhaps hoping for a bit more. But it has been a brilliant week, so enjoyable, and it just makes you want to do it all again.
“I now know I can be competitive and finish well against these guys and that gives you confidence. Next time I am in this kind of position I will feel more comfortable, know more about what is needed so it has been a positive week.”
Jordan admits that the reaction to his opening day heroics caught him by surprise, event to the extent of being inundated with well-wishers’ messages to a degree that he had to turn off his mobile phone.
“I felt bad about it, but I had to refocus for the Friday, but it’s all about learning to deal with a new experience,”added Jordan, who lives just two minutes from the Open championship venue – which is hosting this year’s Walker Cup in September – at Hoylake.
“I have been so grateful for the invitations I have received and every time I am learning something different, taking something from the experience. It is is different, more stressful perhaps. But learning from everything means you can prepare better next time.”