By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Matt Jones, who certainly knows what it feels like to flirt with FedExCup elimination, will leave the Wyndham Championship with his highest-ever ranking in the season-long competition.
Jones entered the final event of the PGA TOUR season safely ranked 51st in the FedExCup. And after Sunday's closing 62 that left him tied for sixth at 11 under, Jones will head into the FedExCup Playoffs ranked 40th.
Jones did most of his damage Sunday on the back nine where he shot a 29 that included five straight birdies. He started the streak with an 8-footer at No. 12, then dropped putts of 44 and 7 feet, two-putted the par-5 15th from 13 feet and ended the scoring with a 32-footer at No. 16.
"Every golfer out here can go and shoot that," Jones said as he reflected on the 62. "It's a matter if you hit the ball in the right spot and makes the putts. You're on the PGA TOUR so you should be able to do it. Just nice to be able to do it today."
And nice to be able to get some positive vibes at the Wyndham Championship, too.
The Aussie had ranked 119th in the FedExCup when he came to Greensboro in 2009 and ended up dropping to No. 126 when he finished 69th. Jones also was 121st in the standings heading into the 2011 Wyndham Championship, missed the cut and dropped to No. 127
"It's very nice," Jones said when asked how it felt to exact revenge at Sedgefield. "That's the reason I played here this week, knowing where I was in the FedExCup, trying to get as high up as I can towards the 30 so this should help. That's my goal, was to get to 30."
Jones opened with a 65 Thursday at Sedgefield Country Club. (Lecka/Getty Images)
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Wyndham Championship hasn't always been good to Matt Jones.
He came to Greensboro in 2009 ranked 119th in the FedExCup and ended up dropping to No. 126 when he finished 69th. Two years later, he started the Wyndham Championship ranked 121st in the standings, missed the cut and fell to No. 127 and miss the cut again.
So Jones, who finished a distant 184th in the FedExCup last year, has left nothing to chance in 2013. A career-best tie for second at The Greenbrier Classic helped propel Jones to 51st in the FedExCup as he enters the final event of the PGA TOUR season.
And after shooting a 65 in the first round at Sedgefield that left him one shot off Chris Stroud's lead, Jones is looking at an even bigger move as he enters the FedExCup Playoffs for the third time in his career.
Jones, who has three top-10s in his last six starts and closed with a 68 at Oak Hill on Sunday, acknowledged that his solid play this season has freed him up a big. That said, priorities have shifted exponentially for a man who had to get his card back in q-school last year.
"It has but my only goal right now is get Top 30 or a win," the Aussie said. "I've definitely been there before. I think I finished 126th and 127th before out here so I know what they're going through. It's not a comfortable feeling but it does free me up so that I can be aggressive."
Jones was very solid tee-to-green on Thursday at Sedgefield, hitting 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation. He actually changed his game plan a little, hitting just one driver all day to keep the ball in place.
Jones' short game continued to be a strength as he used just 27 putts.
"It's always good to get off to a good start," Jones said. "I knew with the quality field this week 5-under is a good round but it's not going to do a lot if you don't keep it going. There's a lot of good players. I'm going to have to keep playing well."
By PGATOUR.COM staff
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Andrew Svoboda, who won the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr. Pepper last week on the Web.com Tour, appears to have picked up where he left off at the Wyndham Championship.
Svoboda made the turn in 30 after posting five straight birdies and is tied for the lead at 5 under with Matt Jones, who has played 16 holes. The two are one shot ahead of Chris Stroud, who is through 12 holes.
Jones has a history of living on the FedExCup edge here at the Wyndham Championship.
In 2009, he came in ranked No. 119 and finished No. 126 in the FedExCup standings to just miss the FedExCup Playoffs. In 2011 he came to Greensboro ranked No. 121 in the FedExCup standings, but missed the cut and finished No. 127 to miss the Playoffs again.
This year, though, Jones is No. 51 in the FedExCup standings and is having his best season on TOUR. His best career finish came earlier this year at the Greenbrier Classic when he tied for second.
Svoboda's victory at the Web.com Tour event propeled him to 20th on the money list -- with the top 25 at the end of next week earning their TOUR cards. He is No. 209 in the FedExCup this year and likely needs to finish first or second to make the FedExCup Playoffs.
Gary Woodland's win at the Reno-Tahoe Open earned him a spot in the PGA. (Fiume/Getty Images)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Gary Woodland and Matt Jones earned spots in the PGA Championship field Sunday. Woodland received a tee time at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., by winning the Reno-Tahoe Open. Jones got into the field when Tiger Woods won the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
A spot in the PGA field was being held for the Bridgestone winner, but Woods already was exempt into the year’s final major, leaving the spot unfilled. It was given to Jones, who was the tournament's first alternate. Woodland's win at the Reno-Tahoe Open was his second on the PGA TOUR; he also won the 2011 Tampa Bay Championship presented by Everbank.
J.J. Henry is now the PGA Championship’s first alternate, followed by Jeff Overton.
This will be Woodland’s third PGA Championship start. He finished 12th in 2011 at Atlanta Athletic Club and 42nd last year at Kiawah Island. Jones has played one PGA, missing the cut in 2010.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- For most of Friday, Matt Jones was in danger of missing the cut at The Greenbrier Classic.
He three-putted the first hole from 64 feet to fall back to even for the tournament. And when Jones missed a 6-footer to save par at No. 7, he had two strokes to make up in order to play the weekend.
Turns out, the Aussie not only made the cut, he'll start the third round in contention after a flurry of six consecutive birdies to end the round. Jones is 5 under after that 66 and three strokes off the lead.
Jones' barrage of birdies began at the 13th hole where he made a 13-footer. He followed with three more putts of 4, 15 and 13 feet, got up and down from beside the green at the par-5 17th and finished with a 12-footer for birdie at the 18th hole.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Q-school has plenty of pressure all on its own. Add in winds consistently in the 20-25 mph range -- with gusts as high as 50 -- and scoring has taken on a whole new meaning here in the second round. Case in point: As of this moment, only nine players have recorded rounds in the 60s. Seven more players failed to break 80, including Brendan Pappas, who shot 86 -- currently the highest score in the books Thursday.
As for the leaderboard, there’s still a long way to go here in the second of six rounds at PGA West. Matt Jones, however, was one of those players to break 70, carding a 68 on the Stadium Course to earn a share of the lead at 9 under. Harris English and Will Claxton are also 9 under, but they are still on the golf course.
Some other notable names in the top 25 on the leaderboard: Billy Hurley III, Vaughn Taylor, Jeff Maggert, Dean Wilson, Bob Estes, Troy Merritt, Adam Hadwin and Sam Saunders.
Matt Jones came into the Frys.com Open ranked 123rd on the PGA TOUR's money list. He'll need to stay inside the top 125 through the end of the Fall Series in order to secure his TOUR card for 2012.
With that kind of motivation, maybe it's no surprise that Jones got off to a good start Thursday, shooting an opening 3-under 68 to put himself among the leaders.
After his round, though, the Australian remained cautious. After all, he started last week's event in Las Vegas with a 65 but shot 75 the next day and failed to make the cut at TPC Summerlin.
"If I do what I know I can do, it won't be any problem," Jones said about keeping his TOUR status. "It's just a matter of me putting two rounds and then four rounds together. Last week I got off to a great start and then had a tough second day, so just have to come out here tomorrow and play well and see what happens."
It's been a strange year for Jones. After finishing tied for 19th at THE PLAYERS Championship in May, he ranked 73rd on the money list and seemingly had plenty of momentum with three consecutive top-25 finishes.
But in his 10 starts since then, he's missed nine cuts. His only made cut was a tie for 25th at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
"I've played terrible after THE PLAYERS," Jones said. "I think I missed every cut, maybe made one. And to still be top 125 right now is good, but it also tells you that you shouldn't be in this situation right now either.
"But three weeks left to do well and go from there."
Jhonattan Vegas shoots an 8-under 63 to tie William McGirt for the overnight lead.