Matt Jones – file

Australian golfers are well placed at the halfway mark of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, Sydney’s Matt Jones one behind the four-way tie for the lead and Adam Scott and Cameron Smith another two shots back and tied for 9th in the congested leaderboard.

Jones, who was forced to withdraw from the recent Sanderson Farms Championship with a back injury, produced a 9 under par round of 63, capped off by almost holing his approach at his final hole to set up a possible second PGA Tour victory.

Another Australian to have featured this week is the University of Nevada golfer Jack Trent from the Sunshine Coast who earned a start in the event as a result of winning a recent collegiate event and did himself proud by recovering from a slow start to his second round with a final nine of 33 to make the cut by two shots.

Trent has lived in the US for the last five years and of late has attended the University of Nevada at which fellow Queenslander, Adam Scott, also played during his amateur career. Trent and Scott played a practice round earlier in the week.

Aaron Baddeley was tied with Trent in 50th place and he too will play the final 36 holes.

Scott’s good play continued with a strong closing nine of 31 for a round of 67 and he finds himself just three from the lead.

Smith recovered from an early bogey for his round of 64 which included a final nine of 30 to join Scott just three forom the lead.

Previous winner and runner-up in the event, Patrick Cantlay, shares the lead with Brian Stuard, Lucas Glover and Kevin Na on the low scoring layout where 5 under par was required to make the final 36 holes.