August 15 2013
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."