Matt Jones leads by three at Australian Open

Sydney’s Matt Jones holds a three-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the Emirates Australian Open after two fine rounds of 67-68 to sit at 7-under par.

The Australian Golf Club member played solidly in his morning round to post a 68, albeit he acknowledged his ball striking was not at the same level as Thursday’s round in high winds – a round he ranked in the top-five ball striking rounds of his career.

“It was a little breezy out there today but after yesterday’s round I probably had a little bit of confidence the way I struck the ball and went out there with that confidence today and managed to shoot three under,” said Jones.

Victorian Todd Sinnott sits at 4-under after a one-under round of 70, a stroke clear of an ominous group that includes Geoff Ogilvy (71), Nicolas Colsaerts (66) and world number one Jordan Spieth (68).

First round leader Lincoln Tighe moved into a share of the lead with Jones with consecutive birdies on 10 and 11 however a late collapse with bogeys at the 15th and 16th, followed by a double bogey at the 17th, saw him finish in the group tied for third at 3-under.

Colsaerts’ 66 was the round of the day playing alongside Adam Scott (73) and John Senden (72), both of whom struggled with the slower pace of the greens in the morning round.

Former British Open champion Darren Clarke shot 67 on a day where conditions appeared better for scoring, yet fewer players are now at par or better than at the end of day one.

Last week’s Australian Masters winner, Peter Senior, was amongst several high profile players to miss the weekend cut. Senior backed up an opening round of 80 with a 75 today to finish well off the pace.

The likes of Marc Leishman, Steven Bowditch, Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby will also be sitting out the tournament after struggling around The Australian layout again today.