Matt Jones during today’s second round – photo Getty Images Jared Tilton
Matt Jones has kept in touch with the lead at the Honda Classic after the first-round leader was round in 70 today to be tied in second place and three shots from the lead set by Aaron Wise.
Jones played in the afternoon half of the field on day two and with four bogeys in his first eight holes it appeared the brilliance of Thursday might have been quickly wearing off but an eagle at his 9th hole had him back on track and a birdie at his 12th was followed by a brilliant approach to his last hole for one final birdie and his even par round.
It had been a roller coaster of five bogeys, three birdies and an eagle but the 40 year old US based Sydney-sider was happy with his standing as the event heads to the weekend.
“It’s always tough to follow up a really good round,” said Jones in his post round media conference.
“I hit it well, warmed up well, and my goal was just to give myself as many chances at birdie as I could. I had plenty. I had a few out there today that I didn’t make, but I had a good day and I’m happy where I am.
“The wind was a little different. There was a little more — we started off yesterday with not as much wind when we teed off. Today we had a constant wind, but it was still very playable. You saw some great scores out there today.
“So I’m sure it’s going to show its teeth the next couple days when it firms up and they let the greens go a little bit more and you’ll really have to be able to control your ball good this weekend.”
Jones is tied for 2nd place with Brandon Hagy although Aaron Wise was able to edge clear of the field with his second consecutive round of 64 to be three clear.
Wise’s only victory to date on the PGA Tour came nearly three years ago when he won the AT&T Byron Nelson event in Dallas but he has been runner-up on two other occasions. His most recent form has been well below his best but he is delighted in the manner he has played thus far this week.
“It’s two great rounds of golf and I love that and I love that I’m playing good, but this place can get to you pretty quick and there’s a lot of golf left ahead and a lot of trouble out there.
“So you’re just still going to have to play smart golf, and like I said, the weather, the wind completely switches, it gets a lot colder, so it’s going to play really different this weekend.”
Adam Scott birdied his final two holes to be the next best placed Australian after Jones, Scott round in 67 to be in a share of 16th place which, after a bogey at the first, he has reason to be satisfied.
Cameron Davis was round in 71 to be tied for 25th and Lucas Herbert made a big move early in his round before finishing with 69 to be tied for 42nd and the only other Australian to make the cut.
Herbert only narrowly missed making the field for next week’s WGC Dell Match Play, missing out by one spot in terms of his world ranking after several leading players had not entered the event.