Date: July 16, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes, St Andrews

Jones puts pieces together

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Some things have taken a while to arrive for Matt Jones this week, but at no stage has he been perturbed.

The laconic Sydneysider landed well before his clubs, but no dramas, he simply wandered the course on Saturday with a borrowed wedge and putter.

There were a few hours before he caught up with coach Gary Barter and as late as lunchtime on Wednesday, he was still waiting for his best driving form to turn up at the home of golf.

But still no panic.

“We’re close, not quite there just yet,” Jones said on his way to the driving range.

“But I’ll just tighten up my driver and we’ll be good.

“It’ll only take three balls if I get the feeling I need. That’s all it is for me – something really quick.

“But everything else is good now – chipping is good, putting is good, irons are good and most importantly I have a pretty good feel for the course now.”

Jones, 35, in his second consecutive Open Championship, said he wanted to play the course sufficiently that he no longer felt he needed a yardage book.

“I’ve played the course enough now that I can walk up on tees and know my lines without pulling out my book,” said Jones, who historically benefits from having Sydney-based Barter in town for tournaments.

“It’s always helpful having Gary here, just to tighten everything up and get everything where I want it to be,” Jones said of his long time coach.

“I’m just more confident that I can do things I want with ball flight and trajectory after spending time with him.”

And the American-based Aussie shared some practice holes with good mate and man of the moment Jordan Spieth in today’s final practice session.

“Yes, I got to play with the one and only!” Jones joked.

“No, I’ve known Jordan for a while – I played with him a bit in his rookie year (2013) when he had all those top-10s and finally won. “He’s a nice guy and he hasn’t changed at all from the guy I knew back then.”

And for the record, the pair split their little match in the few holes they shared, so maybe Jones has found everything just in time.