Last month, golfer Brendan Jones fired his best ever round – an 11-under 61 at Royal Canberra Golf Club. The impressive round created interest well beyond the confines of the Yarralumla course.
It wasn’t for prize money or trophies, either. Brendan was playing a round with his mates on his home course.
“I understand it wasn’t in a tournament round where you need to back up day after day,” he says. “It was the Wednesday competition at my home course. I’m not getting carried away, but it was still an incredible round. It was the lowest round to par I’ve ever had.”
If nothing else, it showed Brendan is in great form despite not playing in a major tournament for more than a year. His last tournament was the New Zealand Open in Arrowtown in February 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on sport globally, including the Japan Golf Tour, where Brendan has played regularly since 2000 and amassed 15 tournament victories.
His success means he doesn’t have to rush back to Japan to secure his place on the tour.
“I don’t want to leave Australia and be stuck overseas,” he says. “I won’t leave until it’s easier to go and then come back, in terms of quarantine. I’m hopeful the vaccine will help things.”
The break in touring and playing due to COVID-19 has put golf on the backburner and given Brendan time at home with his two kids.
“I’ve been playing once every couple of weeks, and also working for a mate with a landscaping business,” he says.
Brendan also ventured down to Moruya to play in the South Coast Open a few weeks ago. It’s a course he’s very familiar with, having grown up in Tuross Head, attending school in Moruya and launching his amateur golf career there.
In 1999, he won the Australian Amateur title before turning professional later that year.
Twelve years later, in 2011, Brendan reached his highest world ranking of 52, playing on golf’s biggest stages at the majors.
More recently, Japan has been his focus with his position on the Players’ Advisory Board for the Japan Golf Tour.
However, for the time being Brendan is content to play the waiting game before he returns to the tour in Japan full-time. Judging by his round at Royal Canberra last month, his golf game has never been better.