31 Mar 2022 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Jones ends 845-day hiatus in Japan

by PGA of Australia

Brendan Jones returns to the Japan Golf Tour this week.

By Tony Webeck

Two-time champion Brendan Jones will make his long-awaited return to the Japan Golf Tour at this week’s Token Homemate Cup.

It has been 845 days since Jones last competed in a Japan Golf Tour event in December 2019 and after a tune-up at TPS Sydney and NSW Open in the past month is ready to chase a 16th win at a venue where he has had success in the past.

When Jones last began a season in Japan he edged fellow Australian Matthew Griffin at the 2019 Token Homemate Cup at Token Tado Country Club’s Nagoya Course, a course where he was also victorious in 2012.

Following a year of landscaping in Canberra, Jones made his first competitive appearance in 12 months at the TPS Sydney at Bonnie Doon in the first week of March and with limited preparation was edged by Jarryd Felton in a playoff when the tournament was reduced to 54 holes.

It was the first step in proving that at 47 years of age he could still compete at the elite level.

“I have played a lot of my best golf really fresh. Whether I’m silly enough to have forgotten all the bad stuff from the last time that I played or what it is,” Jones explained.

“I feel happy and being happy on the golf course is a big bonus.

“I’m fresh and it’s exciting because I’m trying to get back into professional golf again.

“I was using this (TPS Sydney) and the NSW Open just to see where my game is leading into the Japanese tour.”

A long-time Callaway staff player, Jones also credited his new equipment for an impressive return to the game.

“The new driver is out of this world. I’ve never hit it as straight and I’m 47 and still hitting it as far as I ever have,” said Jones.

“That is the one thing that I am confident with and historically it hasn’t been one of my best clubs.”

The opening event of the 2022 Japan Golf Tour season sees five Aussies in action, the dropping of quarantine conditions opening the door to return to a normal schedule.

The year’s first major – the LPGA’s Chevron Championship – begins Friday morning with Australia’s two most recent major champions drawn to play together for the opening two rounds at Mission Hills Country Club.

Minjee Lee (2021 Aumundi Evian Championship) and Hannah Green (2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship) are both seeking a second major title at the venue where mentor Karrie Webb won twice (2000, 2006).

Min Woo Lee is the lone Australian in the field for The Masters who is tuning up for Augusta National at the PGA TOUR’s Valero Texas Open, Curtis Luck will endeavour to extend his run of form on the Korn Ferry Tour and the Champions Tour returns this week with Aussies Rod Pampling, Stuart Appleby, John Senden and David McKenzie in the field.

Round 1 tee times AEDT Friday/Saturday, AEST Sunday/Monday

LPGA Tour Chevron Championship Mission Hills Country Club (Dinah Shore Tournament Cse), Rancho Mirage, California 1.47am*             Su Oh, Gaby Lopez 2.03am*             Minjee LeeHannah Green 6.31am Sarah Kemp, Pornanong Phatlum 7.27am*             Lydia Ko, Brooke M. Henderson 7.43am*             Gabriela Ruffels, Cydney Clanton

Defending champion: Patty Tavatanakit Past Aussie winners: Karrie Webb (2000, 2006) Top Aussie prediction: Minjee Lee TV schedule: Live 3am-7am Friday, Saturday on Fox Sports 503; Live 7am-11am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 505

PGA TOUR Valero Texas Open TPC San Antonio (Oaks Cse), San Antonio, Texas 12.14am*           Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar 12.36am*           Matt Jones, Martin Trainer, Adam Long 1.20am Min Woo Lee, Joseph Bramlett, David Skinns 4.25am*             Danny Lee, Ben Martin, Denny McCarthy 5.53am*             Aaron Baddeley, Andrew Putnam, Camilo Villegas          

Defending champion: Jordan Spieth Past Aussie winners: Joe Kirkwood Snr (1924), Bruce Crampton (1964), Adam Scott (2010), Steven Bowditch (2014) Top Aussie prediction: Matt Jones TV schedule: Live 7am-10am Friday, Saturday; Live 3am-8am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503

Japan Golf Tour Token Homemate Cup Token Tado Country Club (Nagoya Cse), Mie 9.30am Anthony Quayle, Tomoyasu Sugiyama, Hiroshi Iwata 10.10am             Matthew Griffin, Yoshitaka Takeya, Toshinori Muto 1.45pm Adam Bland, Cho Min-gyu, Thanyakon Khrongpha 2.15pm Andrew Evans, Naoto Nakanishi, Ryutaro Nagano 2.25pm Brendan Jones, Shingo Katayama, Mikumu Horikawa

Defending champion: Takumi Kanaya Past Aussie winners: Craig Warren (1994), Andre Stolz (2003), Wayne Perske (2006), Brendan Jones (2012, 2019) Top Aussie prediction: Anthony Quayle

PGA TOUR Latinoamerica 90 Abierto del Centro memorial Eduardo Gato Romero Cordoba Golf Club, Cordoba, Argentina 11.25pm*           Tim Stewart, Josh Radcliff, Fred Meyer 11.45pm             Charlie Hillier, Raul Pereda, Rowin Caron 3.45am Denzel Ieremia, Armando Favela, Leandro Marelli

Defending champion: Tom Whitney (2019) Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Tim Stewart

Korn Ferry Tour Club Car Championship at The Landings Club Landings Club – Deer Creek GC, Savannah, Georgia 10.40pm*           Curtis Luck, Trevor Werbylo, Harry Hall 11.20pm             Rhein Gibson, Taylor Montgomery, Stuart Macdonald 11.40pm*           Ryan Ruffels, Conner Godsey, Kyle Westmoreland 4am      Brett Drewitt, Fabián Gómez, Heath Slocum 4.40am*             Harrison Endycott, Chase Parker, Vincent Norrman

Defending champion: Evan Harmeling (2020) Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Rhein Gibson

Challenge Tour Limpopo Championship Euphoria GC, Limpopo, South Africa 4.30pm*             Daniel Hillier, Robin Sciot-Siegrist, James Hart Du Preez 9.10pm Deyen Lawson, Todd Clements, Jens Fahrbring

Defending champion: Brandon Stone Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Deyen Lawson

Epson Tour Casino Del Sol Golf Classic Sewailo Golf Club, Tucson, AZ 1am      Grace Kim, Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong, Liz Nagel 2.28am*             Hira Naveed, Nishtha Madan, Teresa Toscano 6.24am Robyn Choi, Samantha Wagner, Malene Krolboll Hansen 6.35am Julienne Soo, Kendra Dalton, Laetitia Beck 6.57am Sarah Jane Smith, Kaitlyn Papp, Alejandra Llaneza 7.08am Amelia Garvey, Sydnee Michaels, Ssu-Chia Cheng

Defending champion: Ruixin Liu Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Sarah Jane Smith

PGA TOUR Canada Q-School USA West 1 Wigwam Golf Club, Litchfield Park, Arizona

Round 1 scores T18        Danny List          71 T32        Jack Trent           72 T46        Jack Murdoch    73

Champions Tour Rapiscan Systems Classic Grand Bear Golf Club, Biloxi, Missouri Australasians in the field: Steven Alker, Stuart Appleby, David McKenzie, Rod Pampling, John Senden

Defending champion: Kevin Sutherland (2019) Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Rod Pampling TV schedule: 2pm-3pm Saturday; 8am-9.30am Sunday on Fox Sports 503; Live 4am-7am Monday on Fox Sports 505

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