Matt Jones has company at PGA - his brother
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) Matt Jones spent all three days of practice at the PGA Championship playing with a club pro, which is unusual for a PGA Tour winner.
Unless that club pro happens to be your brother.
It's not the first time brothers have played in the PGA Championship. The most recent duo was Edoardo and Francesco Molinari of Italy. But the Australian brothers earned their little slice of history based on their line of work.
One is a tour pro with nearly $8 million in career earnings. The other is a teaching pro in New Jersey.
''It's great,'' said Brett Jones, who works at Due Process Stable and was the 2010 New Jersey PGA teacher of the year. ''It's great having family here. Parents, your brother, his family. It's a big get-together.''
And it's a major.
Matt Jones might have been one of the few PGA Tour players glued to the final round of the Professional National Championship, where his brother had come close a couple of times to finishing in the top 20 and earning a spot in the PGA Championship.
''He had a shot or two to work with, so it could have gone either way,'' Matt Jones said. ''He holed a 70-foot bunker shot on 17 and a 30-foot birdie on 18.''
They spent the last day of practice with Jordan Spieth, the Masters and U.S. Open champion. Spieth and Matt Jones often play practice rounds on tour.
''Hopefully, we can get a good crowd out there and let Brett get a taste of it,'' his brother said.
Brett Jones is five years older, an electrician by trade in Sydney, and he took a curious route to Whistling Straits. His wife worked for a pharmaceutical company when she won the lottery for a green card. She asked for a transfer and the company sent her to headquarters in New Jersey.
They've been there ever since.
Brett Jones tried his hand at Monday qualifying for a few Nationwide Tour events and never made it. He played the Professional National Championship a half-dozen times and never made it through. Until now.
He was not overwhelmed by the trappings of a major.
''I've been to so many golf tournaments with Matt,'' he said. ''I've been inside the ropes with him a bunch, so I knew the routine.''
The routine did not always include playing with the No. 2 player in the world and one of the hottest properties in golf.
''Getting thrown right into it,'' Brett said with a laugh.
Spieth said Matt Jones asked him after his brother qualified if he wanted a nine-hole practice round with him. Spieth was quick to agree. He can appreciate two brothers with sporting skill because his brother, Steven, is a shooting guard at Brown.
''I couldn't even imagine being somewhere on this stage in the same sport with my brother,'' Spieth said. ''I root so hard for him that it would be just a weird scenario actually playing against him. Obviously, I would still be rooting for him to play his best. But I mean, what a cool experience for that family.''