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The 151st Open

Matthew Jordan


The Royal Liverpool member dreaming of a home Open

The likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are always sure to pull in huge crowds, but one player is likely to prove an even more popular figure at Royal Liverpool if he is able to earn a spot in The 151st Open.

DP World Tour professional Matthew Jordan, who made his Open debut at St Andrews this year after coming through Final Qualifying, has been a member at Hoylake since the age of seven.

And the amiable 26-year-old is understandably receiving extra attention from his fellow Royal Liverpool members as the iconic venue prepares to stage golf’s original Championship for the 13th time next July.

Asked about the prospect of playing an Open at his home club, Jordan told “Every member is going on about it. It will certainly be one of my top priorities next year.

“The support of this club has always been great to me. Throughout my junior years I had quite a few people really support me and even a couple of guys fund some events through my amateur career.

“I get on with everyone, everyone knows me and everyone seems to know my results. It’s brilliant. Everyone’s here for me and they want me to qualify. It would be amazing to experience.”

Matthew Jordan at The 150th Open

Matthew Jordan during his Open debut at St Andrews

Although he acknowledges qualifying for a second Open in succession will not be easy, Jordan has allowed himself to imagine what it would be like if he did book his place in the field.

“Yeah. You can't stop yourself dreaming, can you? It would be brilliant,” he said.

“I've pictured a couple of times maybe standing on the 17th or 18th tee, leading. What would that feel like? That's what you strive to achieve, really.

“So yes, of course I've thought about it. But I probably can't imagine the support, to be honest. I can try to but I think that would only hit me once I ended up qualifying.”

After almost two decades as a Hoylake member, Jordan is well placed to assess the challenges posed by a course showing several changes since it last hosted The Open in 2014.

The most notable alteration is undoubtedly the creation of a new hole, a spectacular short par-3, which plays as the 15th in the members’ routing but will be the 17th during The Open.

That hole is followed by a fiendishly tough new tee on the par-5 18th, where the internal out-of-bounds to the right is an even bigger danger than before.

“That will create a dramatic finish,” said Jordan. “There’s going to be a variety of scores on the last two holes.

The new 17th hole at Royal Liverpool

The new par-3 17th hole at Royal Liverpool

“The prevailing wind is certainly into wind on that par-3 so that just becomes really difficult, that becomes about controlling your ball flight. If it’s into wind it could become a nightmare, so it will certainly be interesting to see how it plays in different circumstances.

“And then on 18 I think it comes up to just hitting a really good tee shot. If the wind is the prevailing wind it will be downwind, so it won't be as difficult, but certainly that drive now has become so much tougher with the change and it's just a perfect risk and reward hole.

“If you hit a good drive, then you have a chance of going for the green, which I think is how it should be, but standing up needing to make birdie to win The Open is going to be a lot tougher, there's going to be a lot more pressure on it.

“If it (the wind) all of a sudden changes – and I know in 2014 it actually kind of went the other way and it would almost start to play into wind - then you'll see guys hitting it OB, guys who won't be reaching, so you could see a four or a seven.

“And then if it changes (and is downwind), you might see your eagles, so I think that's the beauty about it.

“I think a couple of days of wind would be great and maybe a couple of days of decent weather so you can get a variety of scoring and you can see how the pros play it in different conditions. I think that's probably what we want the most.”

Matthew Jordan plays his approach to the 7th at The 150th Open

Jordan plays his approach to the 7th in round one of The 150th Open

In the meantime, Jordan’s focus will be on qualifying for The 151st Open, a task he can be more confident of achieving having made his Championship bow this year.

“To qualify and play my first Open got the monkey off my back,” said Jordan, who is on course to achieve his highest Race to Dubai placing for the fifth year in succession.

“If I do qualify for another one, I have a bit more of an idea of what happens.”

Asked about the prospect of excelling in a home Open at Hoylake, he added: “If I can qualify and then play the way I know I can around here, then why not?

“The pressure would be brilliant. It would be amazing to experience.”

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