Jones soars on Sydney winds as frus­trated Spi­eth keep in touch

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

SYDNEY: Syd­neysider Matt Jones stormed into a three-stroke lead with a three-un­der­par 68 in the sec­ond round of the Aus­tralian Open yes­ter­day as reign­ing cham­pion Jor­dan Spi­eth moved into a share of third de­spite an­other frus­trat­ing day. The Amer­i­can world num­ber one also carded a 68 to stand four shots off the pace set by Jones on seven-un­der and a stroke be­hind big-hit­ting lo­cal Todd Sinnott, who was sec­ond af­ter a 70. Al­though con­di­tions were markedly calmer than on Thurs­day, when tem­per­a­tures soared and gusts of wind swirled across the fair­ways at the Aus­tralian Golf Club, good scores were still at a pre­mium. Spi­eth could have really put his stamp on the tour­na­ment, there­fore, if he had built on the progress he made on the front nine, when he picked up birdies at the first, sec­ond and sev­enth holes.

An­other at the 14th sent him to fou­run­der but a poor chip and a short putt at the next saw him drop his first shot of the day, a swipe of the hand in the di­rec­tion of the of­fend­ing ball making clear his frus­tra­tion. A sec­ond bo­gey at the 16th dropped him deep into the pack again and al­though he fin­ished with a birdie at the 18th, the 22year-old was left on three-un­der feel­ing he had missed an op­por­tu­nity. “The cross­winds again made it a guess­ing game out there to­day, leav­ing a 50-50 shot and we got less than 50 per­cent of them right,” he told re­porters. “It just made it so frus­trat­ing as I was strik­ing the ball well, and it was a round I could have shot six or seven un­der par, and I just didn’t have any chances.

“So boy, it was a round that could have been and that made it so frus­trat­ing as I found my­self fi­nally get­ting into a nice rhythm as I was hit­ting fair­ways and giv­ing my­self op­por­tu­ni­ties but I just couldn’t quite gauge the wind.” US PGA tour win­ner Jones was al­ready in the club­house when Spi­eth got un­der­way, hav­ing mixed five birdies with two birdies to add the 68 to the im­pres­sive 67 he shot when the wind was at its peak on Thurs­day af­ter­noon. The 35year-old is a mem­ber of the host club and con­ceded that 20 years play­ing the course gave him some ad­van­tage when it came to deal­ing with the breeze. “But you’ve still got to get it in the hole,” he said. “If there was no wind, I could have gone out and shot three over to­day-that’s how golf is.”

Bel­gian Ni­co­las Col­saerts had the best round of the day with a 66 for a share of third with Spi­eth, for­mer US Open cham­pion Ge­off Ogilvy (71), overnight leader Lin­coln Tighe (73) and an­other lo­cal in Aron Price (68). For­mer world num­ber one Adam Scott had a rare round where he failed to pick up a sin­gle birdie, fin­ish­ing nine shots off the pace on two-over af­ter a 73. The dif­fi­cult con­di­tions means he com­fort­ably made the cut, how­ever, and, like US Open and Mas­ters cham­pion Spi­eth, will be look­ing to go low over the week­end. “Right now I think the goal is go­ing to be to try and shoot 10 un­der on the week­end and I think that should be good enough,” said Spi­eth. — Reuters

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