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Nick Jones misses cut at Metropolitan Open Championship

A learning experience: Nick Jones (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Nick Jones was left to ponder what might have been after bowing out of the 19th Metropolitan Open Championship at Country Club of St Albans in Missouri on Thursday.

The professional struggled with his ball striking and putting playing in wet conditions on the way to a ten-over 81 in the second round to finish eight over for the tournament, well shy of the 36-hole cut at one under.

“We had rain all morning but I can’t make that as an excuse because I played better when the rain came,” Jones told The Royal Gazette.

“I hit the ball well off the tee but my putting left me and then my ball striking left me. And since the conditions were so wet from the rain, ball striking was key and I wasn’t striking the ball cleanly like you need to on such a long course.”

Starting the round tied for sixteenth and five shots off the lead, Jones got off to horrendous start as he bogeyed the first three holes to make the turn at three over.

He then found the going even tougher on the back nine, where two double bogeys either side of as many bogeys put paid to any hopes of playing in the final round of the 54-hole event.

“I was +3 after the front nine and knew the cut would be around even par, so I tried to hang out,” Jones added. “But when you’re not hitting greens in regulation or not putting well it becomes very difficult.

“But it was a learning experience and being in those pressure filled situations is always educational.”

It was a dramatic fall for the player after carding an impressive two-under 69, which included five birdies and three bogeys, in the opening round the previous day.

Teeing off on the back nine, Jones struggled early but battled his way back to make the turn at one over after rattling in a second birdie of the day at the par-four, 18th hole.

The 34-year-old then capitalised on the momentum, playing the remaining nine holes at three under after carding three additional birdies without surrendering a single shot to the course coming in.

“​The round went pretty shaky at the start and I just had to fight off some nerves,” Jones said.

“I just grinded through it, got the ball rolling and actually ended up shooting 69 for the round.”

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Published May 16, 2024 at 10:52 am (Updated May 17, 2024 at 3:09 pm)

Nick Jones misses cut at Metropolitan Open Championship

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