JORDAN Smith knows he will need to control his nerves when he tees off in his first Major at the US PGA Championship today.

The Derry Hill golfer only claimed the Challenge Tour Order of Merit last year and has taken that superb form into the European Tour this season.

That was rewarded the week last Sunday when the 24-year-old beat Frenchman Alex Lévy in a play-off at the Porsche European Open to clinch his maiden Tour title.

As if the £300,000 prize money and climbing to 18th place in the tour’s Race to Dubai was not reward enough, the victory also earned him a lucrative spot as this week’s final major championship of the season at Quail Hollow Club but it didn’t take long for reality to sink in.

“I knew with last week’s result I had a good chance of getting in and we found out (last) Tuesday night,” he told the Gazette & Herald.

“I was just over the moon with how last week (Germany) went.

“I then phoned my coach (Simon Shanks, at Bowood) and he was delighted because it’s a Major and he has never been to one before and that will be his first experience, as well as mine.

“It was just awesome to hear that good news. I probably enjoyed the moment for 24 hours and then the next day we started planning for the week.

“I took it pretty easy until the end of last week and then we flew on Sunday and this week, we’ll get some really good work done.

“I’m going to go in with a lot of confidence. I’m playing well and we’ll just see how the week goes.”

Smith will take to the first tee at 7.15pm (BST) in Charlotte, North Carolina, alongside Jhonattan Vegas and Bryson DeChambeau, a moment that he admits will feel surreal.

However, despite having not experienced a Major, he did play for Great Britain & Ireland in the 2013 Walker Cup - the amateur version of the Ryder Cup - over the pond and, having embraced the atmosphere then, is out to make the most of his opportunity but won’t let that distract from his competitive edge.

“I’m definitely going to be nervous on that first tee, that’s for sure,” added Smith, who practiced alongside Rory McIlroy on Tuesday.

“Then when we make the weekend, we’re not sure what situation we are going to be in. There are a lot of nerves but it is going to be an awesome week and I am just looking forward to it.

“It’s going to be very surreal turning up to my first Major and seeing all the players that I have grown up watching and was even watching a couple of weeks ago.”

“I’m definitely going to go out and enjoy the whole experience but, at the same time, I know I’m playing well. I’ve got a lot of confidence so I want to go out there and finish up with a really good result.”

Follow Jordan’s progress at Quail Hollow over the next four days at and reaction in next week’s Gazette & Herald