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Jones off pace after Lakes joy

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.