Event: DP World Tour Championship
Date: November 16-19
Location: Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai
TV: Sky Sports Golf – Thurs-Fri: 8am-1pm; Sat-Sun: 7am-1pm
The No.1 goal for 2018 is pretty simple for Jordan Smith: make the European Ryder Cup team.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise since turning professional in 2014, winning both the EuroPro Tour and Challenge Tour Order of Merits in 2015 and 2016 respectively before clinching his maiden European Tour win at the Porsche European Open in July.
That earned him a spot at the US PGA Championship two weeks later – his maiden major – where he defied expectations by finishing as the top British performer in T9.
And, ahead of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the Englishman doesn’t appear to be tempering his expectations too much now that he’s firmly established himself on Europe’s top tier.
“Obviously success isn’t going to continue at the rate that it has but you’ve just got to set more goals for the future and try to accomplish them like I have over the past couple of years,” he told bunkered.co.uk.
“The main goal is definitely to play in the Ryder Cup. The strength of my game is driving and long game so hopefully that would fit in well with one of the players I could pair up with and I’d like to think that I could give them that extra dimension because of my consistency with it.
“Then below that is to win again and compete in more majors and WGCs, which we’ll know for sure about after this week because I’m around the cusp for a lot of them at the moment.”
Smith heads into the DP World Tour Championship ranked 26th in the Race to Dubai after enduring a not too pleasant time at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, where he was forced to withdraw following the second round after struggling all week with glandular fever.
However, the Englishman believes he is almost back to full health as he targets a big final week before heading off for a prolonged break without golf - his first for two years.
“One of my goals at the start of the season was to make it to Dubai because if you do, it obviously means that you’ve had a good year," added Smith who, after this week, will have played 31 European Tour events this season.
"I got off to a good start, finishing third at the South African Open, and then I was able to just relax a bit. I continued to get into contention and then the win finally popped round in Germany.
“It took a while to sink in because a week afterwards, I was out in America ready for the US PGA so it was a bit of a whirlwind. Then, after that week, it all just hit me and I was able to reflect on what I’d achieved. They say the first win is the hardest and I was just delighted to be able to accomplish it in my first year.
"After this week, it's home until the New Year. I bought a house in the summer so I'll be moving in there and achieving that win has given me the ability to plan a proper schedule for 2018."