JORDAN Smith says he feels fit and up to the challenge as prepares for his second year on the European Tour.

Smith’s first season was a spectacular one as he clinched his maiden title, the European Open in Germany last July, after defeating reigning champion Alexander Levy via a play-off.

The 25-year-old, who also finished tied ninth on his debut major appearance at the US PGA Championship, was struck by a bout of glandular fever towards the end of the campaign, which hampered him at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, as well as the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Five weeks and a full recovery later, the Derry Hill man feels fully up to speed as he prepares to tee-off at the BMW SA Open, where he finished third last year, today (Thursday).

“I’m really looking forward to getting back out there,’’ said Smith, who spent a few days practising in Dubai prior to this week’s tournament.

“I am just looking forward to getting out on the course next week. Obviously I had a good week there last year, but I’m not too worried if I don’t make a quick start like I did last year. There is a long year ahead.”

Given a hectic couple of years that saw him win the order of merit on both the EuroPro Tour and the Challenge Tour before moving onto golf’s top table, Smith revealed he has added more rest to his preparation this year.

But he says he sees this weekend’s event as a tournament to break back into the groove.

“I’m just going to go and enjoy the week,” added Smith, who was teeing up alongside home player Trevor Fisher Jr and Scotland’s Marc Warren for the opening two rounds.

“It is kind of a warm-up event, I guess, because after that I go to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Malaysia “So, I’m just going there (South Africa) to knock off a bit of rust and just give it a good chop.

“I’ve added time off to my preparation this year. I have had about five or six weeks off over the Christmas and New Year period.”

“I haven’t had that for two or three years, so it was just nice to chill and get over my glandular fever.

“I guess it came at quite a good stage. I only had Dubai after South Africa and then after that I was able to get home and have all of the tests.

“I just needed a bit of rest to get over it.”