The Manawatu Golf Course was redesigned in 2012 and with his scorching round, Jones equaled the course record set by Luke Toomey in 2013 and matched by Josh Munn in 2015.
Four birdies and two eagles in his opening eight hole set Jones on course for the round of the day.
“The front-9 was stupidly good. The back-9 I got a little bit nervy and hit a few left balls but it was a good day, I got in to the mix,” Jones said.
At 12-under the card, the Christchurch local now has a two shot lead in front of Anthony Quayle who is 10-under the card with Josh Geary and Ben Clementson 9-under the card in a tie for third.
Jones said thoughts of an elusive 59 score did creep in to his mind after his blistering start and admitted thinking too far ahead may have hampered his back-9 showing.
“I was thinking 59, I’ve never been that deep before in my life. I’ve shot 8-under three times but that was a birdie at 18 to get 8-under not birdie 8 to just get to 8-under.
“Without really meaning to, I was thinking about 59. I will go home and ring my mental coach. I did start thinking about it which is not a good thing, it’s one shot at a time.
“But when you get that deep, I don’t know if there’s a player in the world that doesn’t think about it.”
Despite perhaps over thinking towards the end of his round, Jones displayed great knowledge of the course he’s played many times before and relished the conditions when a strong wind picked up before his group teed off.
“I hit 3 wood off the par-5 5th, hit 3 wood, 6 iron and holed it for eagle. I hit 3wood off the par-5 7th and hit 6iron to chip in for eagle.
“I’ve played the course enough to see it in all different winds. I was thinking I had to go deep on the front-9 because the back-9 is a beast in that wind.
“The windier the better for me coming from Christchurch, it blows a gale there every day! You barely stand on that practice fairway when the winds not blowing,” Jones added.
First year Professional Anthony Quayle was able to capitalise on his hot start yesterday to lead the field outright by two shots after the morning session.
The Queenslander shot 4-under 67 to finish 10 under par and now holds second outright with Jones eclipsing him in the afternoon field.
“It was fun out there, it was a bit tougher out there today. Trying to back up a good round with another good round is always tough, I’m pleased to shoot 67 and look forward to the weekend,” Quayle said.
“I’ve had some decent performances as an amateur in these New Zealand events, my games been feeling good and I’m feeling pretty confident with it.”
Defending Champion Brad Kennedy and Josh Younger sit in T5 at 8-under the card with Jarryd Felton, Matthew Giles James Nitties and Tyler Hodge in T7 one shot back on 7-under.
The second round cut at the Lawnmaster Horizon Golf NZ PGA Championship was made at 1-under the card with 56 Professionals and 1 amateur making the weekend rounds.
Main Photo: Dominic Sainsbury
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