MATTHEW Jordan is looking to follow in the footsteps of his 2017 Walker Cup teammate Jack Singh Brar by winning the Open de Bretagne, which gets under way at Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val André on Thursday morning.
The Englishman is one of several players from the 2017 Great Britain and Ireland squad to achieve success on the Challenge Tour since entering the paid ranks.
The former plus-seven handicapper currently occupies the fifth position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings.
But if he had remained as an amateur for 12 months more, he would have been a locked in pick for the Great Britain and Ireland team that will try to regain the Walker Cup at his home course – Royal Liverpool – this weekend.
With one victory already to his name this season – at the Italian Challenge Open Eneos Motor Oil in June – Jordan is one of three members of the 2017 Walker Cup squad to win on the Challenge Tour so far.
Hampshire Golf junior programme graduate Singh-Brar became the first to do so at the Open de Bretagne 12 months ago, while Connor Syme secured his maiden victory at the 2019 Turkish Airlines Challenge.
It has been a year to remember for the 23-year-old who burst into the spotlight after a spectacular opening round of nine-under par 63 at the Betfred British Masters, where he ultimately finished in a tie for 15th.
With five top 10 finishes on the Challenge Tour this year all focus is now on ensuring that he secures one of the 15 European Tour cards up for grabs on the season-long Road to Mallorca.
‘’I’m trying not to think about the rankings too much,’’ Jordan said. ‘’I’d much rather be in this position than to be chasing.
“This way there’s not too much pressure on each event and I can just keep going along and do my thing. I just need to keep ahead of the game which is what I’ve managed to do since my win in Italy.’’
As the Merseyside native looks to replicate Singh Brar’s victory in Brittany, which helped him secure playing rights on the European Tour for 2019, he will also be able to draw inspiration from another one of his Walker Cup teammates.
Jordan’s playing partner in the Sunday foursomes in LA, Robert MacIntyre, also graduated onto the European Tour following the 2018 Challenge Tour season.
‘’I played with Robert during the Walker Cup and he’s just come on leaps and bounds. I try to have something on him all the time,’’ he joked.
‘’At the moment I can’t really because he’d just come back to me with his European Tour card and his finish at The Open,” said the Hoylake member who was obviously torn about the prospect of playing in the 47th Walker Cup on his home course.
‘’In all seriousness though, it’s great to see the other guys do well. Jack played great last year, and Connor Syme has been putting in some good results as well.
“It’s a treat to see how everyone else is getting on and of course, it keeps you motivated as well. All the guys out here are good though, so there’s always plenty to keep pushing you to improve.’’
Jordan – who won the Lytham Trophy last year before turning pro in September – is likely to have one eye on proceedings across the Channel when GB&I seek revenge for that defeat by United States at Los Angeles Country Club.
‘’I went over to Royal Liverpool on Monday just to chat with the players and offer any advice if they wanted it,” said Jordan, whose breakthrough win as an amateur came at the home of Justin Rose in the 2016 Hampshire Hog at North Hants GC.
“The Walker Cup was such a great experience for me, so it was good to have a little reminisce and chat with the boys before the event gets started,” said Matthew, who played alongside two other Hampshire players in Scott Gregory, and Harry Ellis, the Amateur Champions in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Meanwhile, at a firm seaside venue that has often produced English winners, Jordan is hoping his links experience will prove useful with strong winds forecast over the next four days.
‘’The course is very firm and with the wind blowing it feels like a links course in many ways,” Jordan revealed.
“I’m used to the wind from playing links golf growing up although that doesn’t necessarily mean I enjoy it.
When it comes to pitching it short of the greens and playing with the terrain that is something I’m very used to, so hopefully that will give me a little edge.’’
The Open de Bretagne begins at 7.10am, with Jordan beginning his first at 12.50pm. For live scoring click here.