IT could have been better, but Wiltshire golfer Jordan Smith left Hillside Golf Club in Southport encouraged by another top-10 finish on the European Tour at the British Masters on Sunday.

After making the cut following rounds of four-under and two-over, Derry Hill’s Smith asserted his mark on the tournament throughout day three with a five-under round made up of five birdies and 13 pars.

A fourth round of four-under placed Smith at 11-under for the tournament, ensuring he finished in a tie for sixth place alongside Paul Waring to scoop over £97,000 in prize money.

While Bowood player Smith’s second day efforts left him contemplating what might have been, the 26-year-old was pleased with his overall performance and admitted he is on track to reach his 2019 season targets.

He added: “I was very happy with the week, it was a bit of a shame about the second day.

“But apart from that, things went well for me.

“It’s been a good start to the year – I haven’t missed any cuts and had a couple of top-10 finishes. My world ranking is slowly coming down, which is the target.

“The way my schedule has worked this season has helped me – I’m lucky enough to be able to pick and choose what events I play in.

“Often, I’ll play for three or four weeks and then have a week off.

“That luxury of picking and choosing is how I want to keep things moving forward.

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve gone from Morocco to China and then back to England – you need a week or two to acclimatise and adjust to the time zones.”

Smith’s efforts in Southport ensured he leapt eight places up the world ranking chart – now placed in 114th.

Pleasant conditions aided the 26-year-old’s rounds on the final two days of the competition, and he now hopes to extend his purple patch of form into June when lining up at the Made in Denmark event in Farso.

Smith said: “Conditions were good, though the weather was awful on Thursday and Friday.

“The crowds were amazing, there were so many people there – and that’s what makes playing golf in England so good.

“Some friends and family came to watch, and crowds are huge at all UK events – they come out in their thousands.

“I’m getting there with regards to my targets for the season – I missed out on a place at the US PGA this week by a couple of spots.

“But things are heading in the right direction, it’s been a lot better start this season compared to last.”