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September 29 2011

10:19 PM

Ballstriking keys Jones on Thursday

By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM His putter may have still been asleep for the early parts of Matt Jones’ opening round at TPC Summerlin but the rest of his game was on from start to finish. Jones teed off at 7:19 local time and pared his first eight holes, missing a number of birdie looks including two inside 10 feet, before rolling to a 6-under 65 at TPC Summerlin. That mark places him in a nine-way tie for second, one shot behind leader Nathan Green.
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“First nine, score-wise, I hit it unbelievably but didn’t make a putt on the front nine,” Jones said. “I hit it the same on the back nine, made a few putts and ended up with a good score.” Jones was bogey free in his opening round, only needing to scramble on two holes. One of those was a highly unlikely par save. The 31-year old Aussie got up-and-down from 99 yards out (making a 3-foot putt) on the par-4 3rd to stay at even par early in his round. How well was Jones striking it Thursday? His six birdie putts totaled less than 50 feet in length (around 8 ft. per putt). “I hit it very good today,” Jones said. “Been working hard with my coach. Actually went back home to Australia for three weeks and it was probably the hardest I've worked on my game for a long time. (I) brought him back over here and it’s starting to pay off.” Jones has made nine cuts in 21 starts this season with his best finish a tie for 6th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He’s missed eight of nine cuts entering the Fall Series. Jones, a 2007 Nationwide Tour graduate, has the dubious honor of being the only player to be knocked out of the top 125 on the TOUR’s money list in two Fall Series (2008, 2009). Entering this Fall Series at No. 121 this season, he must play well to avoid the same fate a third time. “It’s not where I want to be,” he said. “But I have four events to get a win and then we’ll go from there.”
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