Newsmaker of the Month: Brendan Jones
Getty images: hannah peters
A little after lunchtime on the Friday, Brendan Jones faced a two-putt from 60 feet on the 10th hole of the Coronet course at Millbrook Resort near Queenstown to save par.
Given the off-course activities on offer in the region, a three-putt at the final hole of his second round would not have raised an eyebrow. If the five-footer coming back had grazed the left edge, we’d have thought nothing of it.
And all on his 48th birthday.
But you don’t win 15 times on the Japan Golf Tour without a bit of grind about you.
Jones made that five-footer to make the cut on the number, shot a nine-under 62 on the Saturday and then completed an extraordinary New Zealand Open victory with a closing five-under 66 highlighted by brilliant approach shots to set up birdies at the 14th and 15th holes.
“I don’t know what’s happened, but I’ve won it and I played some pretty awesome golf – for an old guy anyway,” Jones said in the immediate aftermath. “It’s a dream come true.”
Only one other international player – countryman Graham Marsh with 20 – has won more times on the Japan Golf Tour than Jones. His commitment to that tour has restricted the events that he can play on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, somewhat blinding the Australian golf public to the historical significance of his career.
This latest win, however, entrenches his name alongside some of the greats of Australian golf as a winner of New Zealand’s national championship.
Rhein Gibson: A twin-eagle back nine of five-under 31 catapulted Gibson to a second win on the Korn Ferry Tour, taking out the Astara Golf Championship in Colombia by four strokes and jumping to third on the secondary circuit’s season points list.
Brett Coletta: After two difficult years, converted an invite into victory at TPS Hunter Valley, shooting nine-under 61 to force a playoff with Lincoln Tighe, ultimately prevailing on the fourth extra hole at Cypress Lakes.
Jan Stephenson: The three-time Major champion and World Golf Hall of Famer announced she has begun receiving treatment after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Grace Lennon: The PGA professional at Albert Park Driving Range upstaged some of the rising stars of the women’s game to clinch the third edition of The Athena, defeating Sarah Yamaki Branch in the four-hole matchplay final at Sandy Links in Melbourne.
David Micheluzzi: Secured a second win and all but wrapped up the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit in stunning fashion at TPS Sydney, playing the last 10 holes in nine-under par in a round of 10-under 61 at Bonnie Doon Golf Club.
Nadene Gole: The former professional’s victory at the New Zealand Senior Women’s Amateur Championship elevated Gole to No.1 senior amateur golfer in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Glenelg Golf Club: One of Adelaide’s finest is among eight finalists in the 34th Banksia Foundation National Sustainability Awards for its ongoing work to create a greener future and protect urban biodiversity. It is believed to be the first time a golf club has been nominated for the award.
Arundel Hills Country Club: It has been used as a backdrop for an off-the-wall Supercheap Auto ad since its closure in May 2022, but Arundel’s days as a golf course appear over. The new lessee – Guardian Eco Group – has announced plans to redevelop the site into a wellness centre with no intention to include golf as part of the offering.
Raymond Smith: A member at Sanctuary Cove Golf & Country Club on the Gold Coast, Smith was confirmed by Guinness World Records as the youngest amateur golfer to ever shoot their age… six years after the fact. Smith shot 67 at age 67 in 2017, but only submitted his record for consideration a few months ago.
Billy Dowling: The promising Gold Coast amateur established a new benchmark at his home club, shooting 11-under 59 in the Wednesday comp at Surfers Paradise Golf Club to set a new course record.
Outback Queensland Masters: The innovative golf experience in outback Queensland was named ‘Best Grey Nomad Festival or Event’ at the annual Grey Nomad Awards.