THE young Merseyside golfer who took the British Masters by storm has confirmed his potential for the future by claiming his maiden victory on the European Challenge Tour.
Royal Liverpool player Matthew Jordan – who scorched round Hillside on the first day of the Tommy Fleetwood hosted event in a new course record 63 to take the lead – secured his first win as a professional at the Italian Challenge Open Eneos Motor Oil.
And it came in dramatic fashion as he beat Lorenzo Scalise in a play-off at Terre dei Consoli Golf Club.
Jordan, who lives in Hoylake and only turned professional in September last year, took on home favourite Scalise over the 150-yard par three 16th hole, after the pair carded rounds of 66 and 65 respectively, to top the leaderboard at 17 under par after overnight leader Antoine Rozner failed to capitalise on his three-shot advantage.
The former Walker Cup player found the green with his tee shot as the Italian came up short in the water and missed the green with his third shot, leaving Jordan with two putts from 40 feet to clinch his debut title.
Regardless of his exploits at the British Masters, where he eventually finished in a share of 15th having played the remaining three rounds in level par, Jordan has made an impressive start to life on the Challenge Tour with four top ten finishes.
“It’s difficult to explain how I feel right now,” said the 23-year-old. “I just wanted to go out and play as well as I could. I got off to an unbelievable start and from then on I got myself into the tournament and into contention.
“I’ve had a couple of top tens previously but with winning, you never know when you’re actually going to do it until it happens. To finally win, especially at this event with a larger prize fund and more ranking points, is brilliant and I can’t really describe it.”
Jordan, who had a hole in one at the 16th during his third round, started the final round four shots back of the lead – but found his putter running red hot.
“The drive off 17 was my only poor tee shot today but I putted well,” he said. “I canned about 80 foot of putts in the first three holes. I started laughing on the third hole because it felt a bit ridiculous. On 17 I tried to play safe and then got up and down, hitting what felt like the perfect putt.”
With his win, Jordan jumps up the rankings from 24th to second, with the top 15 earning a place on next year’s full European Tour.
If successful it would mark a remarkable rise through the ranks for Jordan, whose breakthrough year as an amateur only came in 2017 when he recorded four consecutive top tens at the Lytham Trophy, Irish Amateur, Brabazon Trophy and Scottish Open Stoke Play Championship before entering the winner’s circle at the St Andrews Links Trophy.
Jordan, whose dad Andy is a scratch golfer also at Royal Liverpool, was member or the Walker Cup team in 2017 as Great Britain & Ireland were beaten 19-7 at Los Angeles Country Club. This year’s match will be held at the Hoylake links, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary.
Photo courtesy of Fabrizio Proietti.