At 47, Brendan Jones chasing a sweet 16th on JGTO

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Brendan Jones - TheGolfingHub
Brendan Jones has been struggling to impress all year long, finishing no better than a tied-21st in 16 appearances. He also missed seven cuts in his last seven starts. Photo: JGTO

Australian veteran Brendan Jones continued his remarkable resurgence to remain in contention for a second Mynavi ABC Championship title and his 16th win of his JGTO career.

The 47-year-old carded a second straight three-under-par 69 at the ABC Golf Club in Hyogo to move to 10-under 206.

Related: Flawless Gunn Charoenkul keeps raising the bar at ABC C’ship

At just three shots behind leader Yuki Inamori, Jones sets himself an opportunity to reclaim the title he won 20 years ago for his maiden JGTO victory when the tournament was known as Philip Morris K.K. Championship.

Thailand’s Gunn Charoenkul birdied the last hole to stay on the fringe of contention at nine-under after mixing two birdies with one bogey to sign for 71 and joint-ninth place.

South Korea’s Sanghee Lee carded 69 to be tied for 13th on 208, one ahead of compatriot Hyunwoo Ryu (69) and American Todd Baek (68) in tied-15th.

Australia’s Brad Kennedy (70) and Anthony Quayle (71), and Justin De Los Santos (70) of the Philippines are all joint 21st at seven shots off the pace.

Jones experienced a roller-coaster start when he sandwiched a pair of bogeys on the second and third holes in between two birdies on the opening and fourth holes.

He then made another gain on the seventh to turn in 35 before birdieing two more times in the last four holes to position himself nicely in a tied for sixth.

Jones has been struggling to impress all year long, finishing no better than a tied-21st in 16 appearances. He also missed seven cuts in his last seven starts.

But Jones reckoned that he’s trending in the right direction again thanks to a much-needed three-week break back home.

Back to Japan with renewed optimism, Jones was tied for the halfway-stage lead before coming in joint 29th. Despite failing to finish with a flourish, Jones believes he’s slowly rediscovering his confidence again.

“My confidence is improving. I’m hitting a lot of the shots that I want to hit. The three weeks I had at home really given me a freshen up,” said Jones, who’s tied-17th in the JGTO all-time list of golfers with the most wins.

“I’m just trying to change the way I have been thinking. I try not to rush, not to get upset when I’m not making good shots and not making the birdie putt. I feel a lot calmer now.

“It’s just been a really big turnaround, I had a bit more perspective when I went home. I had a couple of friends who had heart attacks lately while I’m still healthy and playing on tour.”

Two-time Japan Open winner Inamori had five birdies to make up for two bogeys for 69 as he seized the penultimate stage lead at 13-under.