Jones has made the weekend at the Travelers Championship only three times previously but opening scores of 65-66 have him trailing outright leader, American Brian Harman, by a single shot.
Two time major champion Zach Johnson and another American, Russell Henley, are at the same mark.
Jones, the 2015 Australian Open champion, could do with a good result in a season which sees him well outside the FedEx Cup top 125 who will keep their cards at the end of the year.
Jones is playing on less than full status after regaining his card at last year’s Web.com Tour finals but if he can maintain his current position projections have him vaulting all the way to 103rd.
Of course, there is much golf left to be played and with seven missed cuts in 15 starts the Sydney native has been far from his best in 2018 meaning the weekend will be a good test of just where his game is at.
Jones is one of only two Australians to make the cut, World Number 9 Jason Day also through to the weekend and in decent position just four shots off the pace.
After a shaky start saw Day go to the turn 1-over he showed his customary determination with a run of three birdies on the inward journey to get himself back in the mix.
A rare miss from just five feet at the fourth didn’t bode well for the round but Day hit back with a birdie at the next after a brilliant tee shot to 20 feet at the par-3.
Another dropped shot at the ninth, after finding a greenside bunker, had him freefalling down the leaderboard but his back nine brilliance saved him.
He started the day sharing ninth place and while he had slipped to T11 by the close of play is far from out of the running and will in fact like his chances.
The news wasn’t so good for the remainder of the Australians in the field, Rod Pampling, Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley and Marc Leishman all missing the 2-under cut.
SIGNATURE HOLES - 8TH AT MANLY GOLF CLUB, SYDNEY:
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