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Unlikely golfer leaders eye TPS Sydney win

Brendan Jones and Jarryd Felton will call on former glories as they each seek to complete an unlikely victory in the final round of the TPS Sydney at Bonnie Doon Golf Club.

Jones was one of six players to post rounds of seven-under 64 in dry conditions on Saturday, while Felton’s 65 was enough to match Jones’ 54-hole total of 15-under to set up a Sunday showdown in the final group.

The pair will begin the final round with a three-stroke buffer from overnight leader Lucas Higgins (70), Brady Watt (64) and Austin Bautista (65).

David Micheluzzi (64) and Grace Kim (65) are a further shot back in a share of sixth at 11 under.

Both leaders have played precious little golf the past two years.

The NSW Open a year ago is Jones’ only tournament since the 2020 New Zealand Open while Felton has struggled to find consistent playing opportunities despite having status on the Challenge Tour in Europe.

Jones is a 15-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour and Felton is chasing a fourth ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia title, yet both admit that there will be nerves on the first tee on Sunday afternoon.

“There’s going to be nerves, of course, but it’s just trying to remember the last time I was in these situations,” Jones, whose last win in Japan was the 2019 Token Homemate Cup, said.

“In all honesty, being where I am is not where I envisaged at the start of the week.

“Forty-seven, couple of years out of the game, there’s all these uncertainties in the brain.

“To this point I have proven that I am still competitive and who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

A tie for 18th behind partner Hannah Green at TPS Murray River a fortnight ago instilled Felton with confidence that he was trending in the right direction, now ready to add a matching TPS Sydney trophy to the couple’s mantlepiece.

“At the start of the week you think that you want to play in the final group and try and win the tournament and that’s where we’re at,” Felton, whose last tournament win was the 2020 WA PGA Championship at Kalgoorlie, said.

“I’ll be nervous for sure, it’s been a while, but take good steps from today and hopefully play well tomorrow.”

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