Belfast Telegraph

Matthew Jordan thrilled to take halfway lead at St Andrews

 

Matthew Jordan
Matthew Jordan

By Phil Casey

Matthew Jordan has already enjoyed one victory at St Andrews and surged into pole position for a highly-lucrative second in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Jordan had visions of the second sub-60 score on the European Tour after covering the front nine of the Old Course in just 29 shots with an eagle on the third followed by five straight birdies.

And although the 23-year-old had to settle for an eight-under-par 64, that gave him a halfway total of 14 under and a one-shot lead over fellow Challenge Tour player Calum Hill, Matthew Southgate and Joakim Lagergren.

"The 59 did cross my mind," said Jordan, who finished 15th in the British Masters in May after an opening 63 at Hillside. "I had my friends here and they were quick to tell me that they wanted the same on the back nine. It was in my head but I knew the rain was coming in."

Jordan turned professional in September 2018 after a stellar amateur career which saw him reach fifth in the world rankings, claim a nine-shot victory in the Lytham Trophy and also win the St Andrews Links Trophy in 2017.

Victory on the Challenge Tour in Italy at the end of June earned Jordan £43,000 and means he is on course to earn his European Tour card for next season.

However, all that and more will be taken care of if the World No.292 from Hoylake can lift the title and claim the first prize of £650,000.

Lagergren's 62 at Kingsbarns was the lowest round of the day, with Justin Rose having to settle for a 64 at the same venue after covering the front nine in just 28 with six birdies and an eagle.

"You never know when it's going to happen like that," Rose said. "I was going low but was super relaxed. Sometimes you can get in your own way when you're on a really good run."

World No.2 Rory McIlroy is six shots off the lead after a 66 at Kingsbarns.

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