PREPARATIONS for Jordan Smith’s 2019 European Tour season are already well under way ahead of next week’s curtain-raising Mauritius Open.

Smith, currently ranked 129th in the world, rounded off his 2018 campaign with a T12 finish at the DP World Tour Championships in Dubai – a performance that pocketed the Derry Hill professional more than £103,000.

An opening round of 66 set Smith up well for the remaining three days before subsequent rounds of 68 and 69 kept the Wiltshire star in with a chance of securing his third top-three spot in a month.

However, a frustrating final round of 74 dropped him to 12th – his fourth best finish of the season.

With its long fairways and favourable weather conditions, Smith was able to play his best game.

Smith said: “I loved the course, it suited me.

“The strong area of my game is my long game, I was able to attack the par five holes and hit a lot of drives.

“It was nice to be up in the last couple of groups. I felt the atmosphere and went toe-to-toe with others, which was good.

“Mauritius will be good fun, and I have a holiday planned after that – that will be my time to unwind and ensure I’m better for next season.”

After taking time off in March only, Smith is now relishing a relaxed Christmas period in his home county before returning to action at the HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi in January.

That event will mark the start of a fresh year for Smith, who hopes to build on his world ranking and play with a more relaxed approach next season.

Putting too much pressure on himself is one element of Smith’s game that he wants to eradicate – believing that it cost him shots in the early parts of the season just past.

“The last half of the season was good, I was pleased with that,” said Smith.

“But the first half of the season wasn’t great. I think I was putting too much pressure on myself following last year, I was trying too hard.

“But I managed to turn things around.

“I want to go into the start of next season knowing that there are 30 events in one year, I don’t need to push myself so hard at the start.

“Hopefully that approach won’t put too much pressure on myself – if I can go and enjoy my golf that is the main thing.

“What we planned for this season was to improve on last year. We have improved in some scenarios, but in others, we’ve finished lower down the order.

“My world ranking is about the same – and that’s what the next week is about, reviewing this year and looking to improve.”