NSW Golf

Jones in frame at Greenbrier

Matt Jones

Sydney’s Matt Jones continues to show encouraging signs as he chases to regain his full US PGA Tour card.

Jones, playing on limited status after a flat 2016 campaign, was in early trouble at the Greenbrier Classic overnight before a sizzling run to end an impressive round of four-under-par 66.

It was good enough to be leading Aussie among the eight-strong contingent in West Virginia, but at T13, he’s still five strokes behind runaway leader Sebastian Munoz, of Colombia, who shot a stunning 61 at the Old White TPC course.

Next best of the Australians were the resurgent Geoff Ogilvy and rising youngster Curtis Luck, both of whom signed for one-under-par 69s to sit T43.

Steve Bowditch fired an even-par round to sit at T72 alongside Cam Percy, while Greg Chalmers (+1), Brett Drewitt (+3) and 2010 champ Stuart Appleby (+5) all have work to do in the second round.

But it was Jones who impressed the most.

The 2015 Emirates Australian Open champion began his round off the 10th tee and found himself two over through five holes after his third bogey.

Birdies on the 15th and 17th squared the ledger, then the sweet-swinging right-hander lit up the front nine with four more on the fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth holes to surge up the leaderboard.

Jones, who needs to finish inside the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list to earn back his full card for next season, has already moved to No.132 on the back of better recent form.

And The Australian Golf Club member was in contention for a long time at the recent St Jude Classic as he regains the scoring prowess that took him to the Houston Open trophy in 2014.

Meanwhile, on the European Tour, the good form of Adelaide’s Wade Ormsby continued with a five-under round to begin the Irish Open.

On a day of hot scoring at the Portstewart Golf Club in Northern Ireland, Ormsby’s 67 left him just three behind joint leaders American Daniel Im and Frenchman Benjamin Hebert, but in a share of ninth place.

Jason Scrivener and Sam Brazel are in a logjam at two under, with Andrew Dodt (-1), Olympic duo Scott Hend (-1) and Marcus Fraser (-1) and Perth’s Brett Rumford (+2) all outside the projected cut line in an event that has three Open Championship qualifying berths up for grabs, as well.

18 January 2019
LAKES ENTRANCE: Men: Stableford White: A: P Mifsud (14) 41. B: I Malejew (16) 40. C: L Battista (24) 41. more
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