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Jones puts himself in frame for Presidents Cup

Matt Jones of Australia watches his second shot on the 15th hole during the third round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf
Matt Jones of Australia watches his second shot on the 15th hole during the third round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf

By Andrew Both

GREENSBORO, North Carolina (Reuters) - Australian Matt Jones has emerged as a contender for the International Presidents Cup team after another sizzling performance on the PGA Tour.

Jones reeled off five consecutive birdies on his way to a sparkling eight-under-par 62 in the final round at the Wyndham Championship on Sunday.

He started his purple patch at the 12th hole and while his run came too late to contend for victory, he vaulted into a tie for fifth at Sedgefield, just three strokes behind play-off winner Patrick Reed.

Jones has finished in the top-seven in three of his past four starts - performances which no doubt have caught the attention of Nick Price, captain of the International team for October's Presidents Cup against the United States at Muirfield Village in Ohio.

The top 10 in the standings after the next two tournaments will gain automatic selection, while Price will pick two others.

Jones remains outside the top 10 but few other International players are in good form, which may help the Australian's cause.

Jones, 33, downplayed his chances, saying he needed to win in the next two weeks to justify selection.

"I'd need to win a tournament to feel like I've earned my way there," Jones told Reuters. "Top 10s are great but I think you've got to handle the pressure of winning a tournament to understand what playing a Presidents Cup is like.

"This is the closest I've been (to making the team) and it's great to be there because it means I've played well this year."

Jones, who is 37th on the tour's FedEx Cup points standings, has always had a good long game but putting has often been his weak link.

But he made his share of putts on Sunday, including a rollercoaster 45-footer at the 13th that he described as the best putt of his life.

"I had to nearly putt it off the green - at a 45-degree angle to the hole up one steep hill and back down another steep hill - and it went in," he said. "It was amazing."

(andrewboth@gmail.com)

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