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Jones and Blixt the pedigree to challenge Day

Matt Jones a chance to win his seocnd Australian Open (Photo: Henry Peters )
Two players who have quietly worked their way into contention for tomorrow’s final round of the Emirates Australian Open are Australian Matt Jones and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt and while both are winners on the PGA Tour there are likely not many who would necessarily consider either winning chances tomorrow.

A closer look at their pedigree suggests that might not necessarily be the case.

Jones, the winner of this event at this venue in 2015, recorded a round of 68 today to move within three of the 54 hole leader Jason Day while Blixt, along with Cameron Smith a winner of the Zurich Classic on the PGA Tour this year and two other PGA Tour titles, is tied with Jones in 3rd place.

Another statistic that might escape some is that Blixt was runner-up at the 2014 Masters behind Bubba Watson when tied for that place with Jordan Spieth.

Jones and Blixt will play together tomorrow in the penultimate group with interestingly, given Smith’s involvement with Blixt in their joint victory in New Orleans this year, in the group ahead of them and only one behind the pair.

Blixt was philosophical about things after his round and his chances tomorrow.

“I've been doing this for so long now, it feels like - you always want to win, I mean, you always want to get in contention and see if you can pull one out of that. As a golfer, I don't think you really think about that too much when you’re in the moment, obviously it’s a nice perk, especially for the Australians to win this tournament. 

"But yeah, you’re always trying to win and there’s always a good feeling of winning something. I don’t want to think about that now, I just want to enjoy my good round today and see if I can play well tomorrow.”

Jones realises he is up against a champion in Jason Day tomorrow but believes an upset could still be on the cards especially with his in depth knowledge of the Australian Golf Club.

"I think anyone that plays a golf course for years and years is going to have an advantage, just knowing where to miss shots and how to manage the course would be an advantage for me.

“Jason’s a world class player, former number 1 in the world,” said Jones. “He’d be the favourite to win but we’ve seen many upsets before and as long as I manage my game and give myself birdie opportunities, anything to happen.Jones played this course a lot during his formative years and is coached by the Australian Golf Club based Gary Barter.

“I think anyone that plays a golf course for years and years is going to have an advantage, just knowing where to miss shots and how to manage the course would be an advantage for me."

Two years ago, Jones held off Spieth and Adam Scott to win his first Australian Open at the Australian Golf Club.

Tomorrow Day gets a chance to do the same but Jones and Blixt might yet have a say in the outcome of that

BRETT RUMFORD SHORT GAME

 

 

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