JORDAN Smith hopes a relaxed approach will serve him well as he begins his 2019 schedule on the European Tour at this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Wiltshire golfer Smith teed off in the first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club this morning and will be hoping he is safely inside the cutline at the conclusion of Thursday's second round.

The Bowood pro kicked off his 2019 campaign with a tied 39th finish at the Mauritius Open in the first week of December, but after six weeks away from tournament golf, Smith is feeling good ahead of what he hopes will be a strong third season amongst the continent’s top tier players.

“It was nice to relax and get back home over Christmas and new year and have some time to enjoy myself,” said 26-year-old Smith.

“The schedule is almost non-stop, so I went on holiday too and I feel refreshed now.

“With these early tournaments, it’s a case of not getting ahead of yourself. You just need to go out and see what happens and not been too hard on yourself if you hit a couple of bad shots.

“I am going in having prepared well and feeling good, so hopefully the results will follow.

“I feel like my game is in good shape. I am excited for the year as I have changed club manufacturers and I have been working hard on little bits and pieces. I am feeling good for the year.”

This week’s Abu Dhabi Championships represent the first of eight prestige ‘Rolex Series’ events on the European Tour – events that carry a total prize purse of at least seven million Euros.

However, the next is not until July’s Irish Open and Smith says his main focus this week and at next week’s Dubai Desert Classic is to make sure his tournament golf is up to scratch.

“With the Rolex events, I just go in as I would for any other tournament. I prepare the same way and have the same mental attitude,” said Smith.

“It’s the same as any other week, other than it’s a bigger purse.

“I love the course here in Abu Dhabi. It is a bit of a driving course and you have to have a good long game, which I feel I have got.

“I think the courses here and in Dubai next week suit me, so I am definitely going in with a lot of good thoughts and looking forward to the events.”