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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 278
JONES CLAIMS AUSSIE AMATEUR N INETEEN years ago, then 24-year- old Brendan Jones won the 1999 Wilson Australian Men’s Amateur Championship at The Australian Golf Club. Jones topped the qualifying stage (alongside Brad Bone) leading into the match play by shooting 288 across four rounds at the Australian and The Lakes golf clubs. He then proceeded to defeat Aaron Baddeley, who would win the Australian Open eight months later, 1up; Scott Strange (2/1); Reon Sayer (1up); Matthew Guyatt (5/3) and Mahal Pearce (2/1) in the final. The New South Welshman turned professional later in 1999 before deciding to make the move to Japan in 2001 – where he remains the highest-earning foreign player in the history of the Tour, accumulating over $11.5million and winning 14 titles. Now 43 and living in Canberra during his off-seasons, Jones has played in 11 major championships and says he would like to play more while he is still competitive. “The older I get, the better I used to be,” Jones said. “If I play my way into a major then I’m going to do that, but I’m not setting my year up to play majors – if it happens it happens. “I know I’m good enough to still mix it.IfIdogetthat opportunity, I’ll be sure to take it and give it a good run because the older I get the less chances that I’ll have to play them.” Jones has played in five US PGA Championships, four Open Championships and two US Opens since winning the 1999 Australian Amateur Championship – and will have the opportunity to qualify for further majors through specific tournaments in Japan. “When my game’s good, it’s as good as any of the guys on Tour,” Jones said. “That gives me a lot of hope and I’ve got a lot of confidence that I can continue to do it.” 1999 THIS WEEK IN ... • John Brumby resigns Victorian Labor Party leader. He was replaced by Steve Bracks three days later. • Gwyneth Paltrow and Roberto Benigni win awards for their roles in “Shakespeare in Love” and “Life is Beautiful” at the 71st Academy Awards. • Pluto is, again, recognised as the ninth planet from the sun. But in 2006 its title as a planet was reclassed as a ‘dwarf planet’. • Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones are the first people to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon. ALSO MAKING NEWS THIS WEEK IN 1999 WATCH: JONES SMASH A DRIVE DOWN AN AIRPORT RUNWAY WORDS BY MICHAEL JONES
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