Keeping up with the Jones boy

Matt Jones on his way to a three stroke lead at The Australian Golf Club today.
Matt Jones on his way to a three stroke lead at The Australian Golf Club today.

THE rest of the field at the 2015 Australian Open aren’t really keeping up with Matt Jones with the Australian Golf Club member showing a clean pair of heels into the weekend.

Jones shot a second round 3-under 68 to take his tally to 7-under and a  three shot lead over rookie professional Todd Sinnott (70).

Jones might have a home town advantage but the course, particularly the greens, have changed quite a bit since he was a regular.

“I do know the  golf  course,  I’m  comfortable with lines of the tees and that,” said Jones, who now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and won the 2014 Shell Houston Open on the US PGA Tour.

“The greens are completely different to what I grew upon here, different grass,  a  lot of  different breaks. I do have local knowledge and it’ll be fun to be out there on the weekend with a lot of friends   and family and members from this course out there.”

Jones was feeling confident about his game but wasn’t getting ahead of himself, particularly in a field with the likes of world No.1 Jordan Spieth (68), Nicolas Colsaerts (66), Geoff Ogilvy (71),Aron Price (68) and overnight leader Lincoln Tighe (73) all lurking at 3 –under.

“ … of course I’ve thought about [winning the Australian Open], it would be fantastic,” the 35 year old said.

“Any time you have a chance to win your own country’s  Open,  would be fantastic. But, two  days to go; I  can’t really be  thinking  about  that  now. I’ll be thinking  about  that if  I  have  a  chance coming down the stretch on Sunday.”

Jones was in contention five years ago at the Open at The Lakes but ultimately finishing tied second behind Ogilvy.

This time he sees himself as a more rounded player.

“Yeah, probably five more years of experience, being more comfortable in this situation and knowing that if I don’t play well enough, it’s not the end of the world,” he said.

“I’m sure I used to let it get to me a lot more when I was younger but nowadays you go home, play with your kids and you forget about it.

“That’s probably what’s helped me a lot too, being married and having a couple of kids to forget about golf, away from the course.”

First round leader Tighe still had a share of the lead on the back nine but a double-bogey on the par-four 17th after he pulled an eight iron shot into the water hazard left of the green cost him.

“I played good through the middle, sort of lost my swing towards the end, hit two bad shots and got penalised really bad,” he said.

Spieth threatened early but made two late bogeys en route to his 68.

“I feel like I’ve still got the best golf yet to be played – that’s what’s positive,” the defending champion said. “That’s what I’m going with.”

Adam Scott fired a lacklustre 73 to be two over, nine shots off the lead, but the 2009 champion wasn’t  ruling himself out, saying he felt good and that “two rounds in the mid-60s” could still be enough.

 

English visitor Lee Westwood went bush on the 13th, flying the green and almost losing footing as he examined the appropriate place for a drop behind the TV tower
English visitor Lee Westwood went bush on the 13th, flying the green and almost losing footing as he examined the appropriate place for a drop behind the TV tower

 

Westwood only managed to hack the ball out onto the first cut above the green.
Westwood only managed to hack the ball out onto the first cut above the green. A bogie wasn’t such a bad result in the end.

Weekend Cut

The second round cut was made at 4-over the card with 65 professionals and four amateurs making the weekend rounds.

The third round of the Emirates Australian Open will tee off at 7.19am with the lead group of Matthew Jones and Todd Sinnott on course at 12.45pm.

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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

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