Canberra golfer Brendan Jones begins ‘pre-season’ at NZ Open

He’ll then return to Canberra knowing what he needs to work on for the six weeks before Japan starts.

«It is. How I use this tournament, I come over here see where my game’s at and see where I have to work, what I have to work on before Japan pretty much kicks off,» Jones said.

«It’s almost back to work now. The fun and games are over and now it’s head down and bum up.»

With Fox winning his maiden European Tour title — the World Super 6 Match Play final in Perth a couple of weeks ago — Jones felt he was the obvious favourite.

But give Jones has spent the past 18 years plying his trade on the Japan tour he’s not across all the young talent coming through the system.


If there was one thing that counted against Fox though, it was the travel.

He’s gone from Perth to Mexico and then back to New Zealand in the space of two weeks — the same schedule Millar’s had.

Jones said the field was also a strong one with the likes of Geoff Ogilvy, KJ Choi and YE Yang added plenty of experience to the mix.

«You can’t go past Ryan Fox having won a European tour event a couple of weeks back,» Jones said.

«The only thing that might work against him is the fact that he’s had to go from Perth to Mexico and then back here.

«That might take it out of him, but he’s a world-class player now.

«There’s a lot of these young kids who I really don’t even know because I haven’t played on the Aussie tour for quite some time.

«These guys out here I am quite unfamiliar with, but they’ve all got a bit of game so it’s pretty hard to really say.»

Jones finished off 2018 strongly with a second, a third and three other top-10 finishes in his final 10 tournaments.


He said a three-month break would make it hard to carry any of that form into the NZ Open.

But as with any competitive athlete, he wasn’t completely giving up hope of playing well.

«I’ve got good memories of last year, I was in good form. If I think clearly there’s no reason I can’t pick up where I left off,» Jones said.

«This isn’t perfect for me because I’ve had such a big break, but I got a few rounds of golf in last week.

«I’m not hitting the ball badly, but the things you lose when you have a bit of time away, a bit of feel, a bit of short game, that’s the stuff you really need to spend a bit of time to get back.

«I’m feeling good, I love this place and I love the tournament. If I can be happy out on the golf course, which I’ve been that way for a long time, who knows what can happen.»

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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