show me:

Jones confident of good showing in NZ Open defence

3 minute read

Australian Brendan Jones is revelling in the novel experience of defending a title where he is a man in demand.

Australian golfer Brendan Jones has carved out a remarkable 20-year career on the Japanese tour, winning 15 tournaments and more than $11.3 million in prize money.

But he never got around to learning the language.

"Well my golf Japanese in fantastic, but my conversational Japanese isn't good at all," the 48-year-old from Canberra told reporters on Wednesday.

Which plays a big part in explaining why arriving at Millbrook GC as the defending New Zealand Open champion is a much different experience to his his many triumphs in Japan.

"Coming here, I understand everything," Jones said.

"Random people want to talk to me and wish me luck again, talk to me about what they experienced last year.

"It's a different feeling to what I've ever had winning a tournament.

"... I play a lot of tournaments around the world and I don't even know who the defending champion is a lot of the time.

"But I think everyone in the field knows who won this last year, which is not too hard when my photo is plastered everywhere around Queenstown."

Despite his long and unprecedented success in Japan, Jones has switched focus in 2024 and will ply his trade on the Asian Tour, which has a much broader global footprint.

"It will be a change from going back to the same places, eating at the same restaurants, sitting in the same chair at the restaurant and ordering the same food," he said.

"Now I'm going to places I never imagined I'd be playing in - I'm going to Morocco, going to Kenya.

"I never thought in a million years I'd be playing golf in Kenya so that's exciting."

Just as exciting - albeit in a different way - is defending the title at Millbrook at what has long been his favourite tournament of the year.

The 2023 triumph was also Jones' maiden victory on his home tour.

"The pressure is what you put on yourself," he said.

"I just look at the depth of fields now and it's getting harder and harder to win.

"I thought my time may have passed last year but on my week I'm still competitive.

"I played a few tournaments to warm up for this and the form has been pretty good.

"I'm confident of putting in a good showing but saying I'm going to defend it and be a two-time New Zealand Open champion is a bit far fetched."

Think. Is this a bet you really want to place?

For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit