Hometown hero Matthew Jordan rides the wave of emotion to shoot a two-under-par 69 in the opening round at The Open

new balance


Hometown hero Matthew Jordan rides the wave of emotion to shoot a two-under-par 69 in the opening round at The Open

  • Matthew Jordan struck the opening tee shot at The Open on Thursday morning 
  • He has been a Hoylake member since he was seven and holds the course record 
  • He was in the crowd when Tiger Woods won in 2006 and Rory McIlroy in 2014

Matthew Jordan had played these links countless times but never like this. Walked to the first tee more often than he cares to remember but never like this. Never in front of these crowds, never to this noise, and never to get the Open Championship underway.

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At 6.35am on Thursday, the 27-year-old struck the opening tee shot in front of a grandstand packed with family, friends and members of a course where he has been a member since he was seven and holds the course record (62). 

Over the next four-and-a-half hours, he shot a two-under-par 69 to earn an early place on the leaderboard.

‘I’m running out of words to describe it,’ he said. ‘It was crazy, mental, everything I could have wished for. I’m trying to think of a better experience and I don’t think I can.’

Jordan woke up just before 5am. He spent Wednesday picturing what was to come. What it would be like to walk through the tunnel, to hear the cheers building, to meet the other members of his opening group, Richie Ramsay and Branden Grace.

Matthew Jordan struck the opening tee shot in front of family, friends and members

Matthew Jordan struck the opening tee shot in front of family, friends and members

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What he probably had not pictured was pulling his opening shot into the rough. Splashing from the sand and holing a 14ft putt to save par was more like it. Jordan holed another from 16ft on the second to claim the first birdie. He made more on the fifth, eighth and 16th to make up for bogeys on the sixth and the 11th. 

His girlfriend Kate Harry only saw one of the bad ones. She left after six holes for her shift working in the ‘big green trucks’ for European Tour Productions. 

‘She didn’t see me make bogey and leave, she had to go to work!’ said Jordan. ‘She got up before me and was not finishing until 9pm.’

She wasn’t there to hear the cheers when Jordan found the green on the brutal par-three 17th, one of the loudest of the day, and the grin from her man that followed.

‘It was almost like I’d holed it! I couldn’t not smile. I had three or four moments out there where the emotion took over and I had to smile.’

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Can you blame him? He only qualified for the Open this month.

Jordan's girlfriend Kate Harry (centre) watched his opening tee shot before going to work

Jordan’s girlfriend Kate Harry (centre) watched his opening tee shot before going to work

He was here to watch Tiger Woods win in 2006 — where, aged 10, Jordan was too scared to get his signature on the putting green — and Rory McIlroy in 2014.

No one knows this course like Jordan. He’s played it in ‘any condition, any weather’, which will come in handy if the elements turn nasty.

Jordan said he wouldn’t visualise much last night.

In the past, he’s pictured himself standing on the 72nd leading the Open. There’s lots to do but a few more days playing like this and, who knows, the hometown boy may not need much imagination.

new balance



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