WILTSHIRE golfer Jordan Smith said playing in the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews last week “exceeded all of his expectations.”

The Chippenham man was one of 156 players – featuring many of the game’s elite – to tee it up in the final men’s major of the year at ‘the home of golf’, located in East Scotland.

It was a historic year for the tournament as not only did the tournament take place for the 150th time but also because of the record crowd numbers – 290,000 fans entered the Old Course across the seven days.

Reflecting back on a magic occasion, Smith said: “It was amazing. It exceeded all of my expectations.

“Obviously, I’ve played at St Andrews quite a lot before in the Alfred Dunhill Links and a few amateur events, but it didn’t compare to last week.

“And with it being the 150th Open and Tiger (Woods) being there, it made it that bit more special. It was amazing with so many people there – it was unbelievable.”

In terms of Smith’s performance, a respectable five-under-par for the tournament left him just inside the competition’s top 50 in a week where bone-dry conditions played havoc with the scores of the game’s top players.

The in-form Wiltshire man revealed Sunday was his most enjoyable day as a five-under 67 left him in a tie for 47th with a shade over 40,000 euros in prize money.

He said: “It was very, very difficult out there. It wasn’t as windy as the practice days, but it just got firmer and firmer – it was like a runway. That made it very difficult to hold your ball on the greens or the fairways.

“I was a bit disappointed with how the first three days went, but then I mostly pulled it together on the Sunday and topped the week off nicely rather than having a disappointing last day.”

Feeling disappointed at making the weekend in a major provides evidence as to how far Smith has come during his time in the professional game.

Aiming to break into the world’s top 50 for the first time, the man who finds himself 12th on the DP World Tour’s rankings – golf’s second most prestigious tour – knows maintaining his 2022 form will help him reach his goal.

Smith said: “I’ve been really, really pleased with how this year has gone up until now.

“The last few years haven’t really gone as well as we would have hoped for, and we made a few changes for this year that needed to be made. That has worked out for the better, and I’ve been really happy with how each week has gone.

“I think I’ve only missed one cut for the year, and there have been quite a few top-25s and a few seconds. We just need to get that win under the belt, and that will top off a really good year.”