European Tour player WDs mid-event, citing mental fatigue with Euro Tour bubble
Jordan Smith withdrew from this week’s Andalucía Masters during the first round, citing mental exhaustion with the European Tour’s bubble.
Smith, 27, was 11 over through 14 holes on Day 1 at Valderrama Golf Club. The former Ryder Cup venue is proving a formidable test, with just five players out of the 132-man field breaking par on Thursday. However, Smith let it known it was more than firm and fast conditions that spurred his WD.
“If people are wondering why I withdrew from this week’s event, the main fact was it was my 7th week in a row and ‘the bubble’ has gotten the better of me,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “Feeling like being in lockdown again not being allowed out the hotel does get to you after a while and mentally I had enough.”
Smith followed by saying it is the first time he’s pulled out from a tournament mid-round, and apologized to his team and the European Tour.
The European Tour’s protocols and restrictions returning from the pandemic have been uncompromising relative to the PGA Tour's restart framework; in August, player John Catlin was disqualified when caught having dinner outside tournament grounds. In that same breath, the Euro Tour’s plan has worked, as it's kept its constituents safe through the circuit’s return from the pandemic.
Smith entered the week 57th in the Euro Tour’s Race to Dubai, and No. 184 in the World Ranking.