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Jones off pace after Lakes joy

Date

Jon Tuxworth

Brendan Jones shot 73 on the opening day of the Australian PGA Championship.

Brendan Jones shot 73 on the opening day of the Australian PGA Championship. Photo: Harry How

Last week was one of his career highlights, but Brendan Jones has plenty to do to emulate his Australian Open performance after a slow start to the Australian PGA Championship.

Just four days after storming home to finish second behind Peter Senior at the Lakes, Jones carded a first round one over 73 at Coolum on Thursday to sit nine strokes behind surprise-packet leader Daniel Popovic (64).

In a tie for 67th, the 37-year-old will be aiming for a strong second round on Friday, when he will want to take advantage of the early morning conditions. He will need to do so after a mediocre round featuring three bogeys and two birdies on a course renowned for low scoring.

After skyrocketing from world No.104 to No.72 with his final day heroics last week, a win could see Jones leap into the top 50 and guarantee a debut US Masters berth.

The rest of the Canberra contingent also failed to fire, with Matthew Millar (73) joining Jones at one over.

Chris Campbell (74) is in a tie for 87th, while Damon Welsford (81) beat just three other players in the field after a horror round including three double bogeys.

Jones tees off at 7.40am on Friday, while Millar starts at 7.20am.

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