AAP Golf

Aust Jones left ‘embarrassed’ by PGA start

By AAP Newswire

Australian golfer Brendan Jones arrived at the US PGA Championship just three weeks after earning a 15th win on the Japan Tour which took his career earnings well past 1 billion Yen ($A13.2 million).

But New York's notoriously difficult Bethpage Black course brought Jones back down to earth spectacularly during an eight-over-par 78 in the first round.

It left Jones a whopping 15 shots behind clubhouse leader Brooks Koepka, who fired a course-record seven-under 63.

The 44-year-old Canberra native was shell-shocked at the nightmare start to his sixth appearance at the US PGA Championship.

"It's a little bit frustrating and it's a little bit embarrassing," Jones told AAP.

"I came here with a bit of form but (78) was not part of the plan."

World No.101 Jones recently pipped countryman Matt Griffin to win the Token Homemate Cup in late April, taking his Japan Tour career earnings to 1.066 billion Yen ($A14 million).

A sublimely talented golfer, Jones hit just seven from 14 fairways and 10 greens in regulation on Thursday at Bethpage.

He made no birdies, but remarkably avoided a double-bogey.

"I don't want to make excuses, but getting in from Japan on a Monday afternoon and trying to compete with the best in the world on no sleep is not going to cut it," Jones said.

"I didn't have my best stuff today and got found out."

Bethpage is one of the PGA Tour's toughest courses, ranking 12th most difficult when it last hosted a PGA Tour event - the 2016 Barclays.

Its biggest obstacles are tree-lined, narrow fairways, thick rough and boldly-contoured greens.

Bethpage Black has a famous warning sign on the first tee which recommends only "highly-skilled golfers" play.

On Wednesday, six-time major winner Nick Faldo called it a "beast".

"Oh it is a beast," Jones said. "I didn't make a birdie and every time I missed a fairway, or was slightly out of position, I made a bogey.

"I didn't play that bad and I've had an absolutely shocking score.

"We never play anything like this in Japan; Japan Open courses are always tricked up, but you don't get this many par 4s over 500 yards."

Asked what would motivate Jones to salvage a respectable score in Friday's second round, Jones said: "Well, I don't want to come last."