43-year old Jones, who recently featured as a guest on the iseekgolf.com podcast, was bogey free on day one and will now have the advantage of an early tee time on day two to hopefully extend his lead.
Japan’s Toru Nakajima is another shot back in 3rd position.
Other Australasians in the A$1.85 million event, which is being played at this venue for the first occasion, are Aaron Townsend and Matt Griffin at 2 under 70, Scott Strange 73, Brad Kennedy 73, Todd Sinnott 74 and Michael Hendry 75.
The Japan PGA Championship has been won on only one occasion by an Australian that coming in 2015 when South Australian Adam Bland won his one and only Japan Tour event to date.
BRENDAN JONES 2017 PANASONIC OPEN HAPPY GILMORE MOMENT
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