Jones who was part of the New Zealand Eisenhower Trophy Team returned to the country on the weekend, with his clubs only arriving Wednesday evening, curtailing any hopes of a practice round leading into the event.

Despite that he has been in fine form so far this week backing up his round one 66 with a 67 today.

Jones who started on the 7th hole kick started his round with a pitch in eagle two on the par four 10th hole. Stress free golf continued from there as he went bogey free until his final hole where a wayward drive put pay to no blemishes on the scorecard.

Jones spoke about the key aspects of his round today.

“My ball striking again was the key, I drove it really nicely today and never really put myself out of position and hit a few wedge shots close.

The putter was a little cold unfortunately, but if I continue to play like that I’ll put myself in a good position on Sunday.”

“I had 300m to the flag on 10 and hit a decent drive to about 25 metres short of the green and hit a nice little chip shot that checked up and rolled in.

With 36 holes to go Jones is in a good position and after three months of international travel his body is still holding up.

“Body is pretty good at the moment, the jet lag has definitely been there and over the last few days I have been waking up at 4am every morning, so hopefully I start sleeping in a bit.”

Joining Jones at the top is Hawkes Bay amateur Mako Thompson. Thompson was plodding along for his first 12 holes before kick starting his round in similar fashion to Jones with an eagle two.

Playing the first hole as his 13th of the round Thompson pitched in from 60 metres which kicked him into overdrive, as he followed that with three more bridies in the next five holes to sign for a five under 66.

Thompson who has also been overseas had taken some inspiration from what he saw over there.

“I sort of watched all the players over there, and the courses and it sort of kicked me in the butt to practice a bit harder, so have been putting a lot more time in to my game and it worked today.”

He was pleased with his hot finish which saw him tie Jones for the lead.

“I was playing nicely for the first 12 holes just couldn’t get anything to go in which was a bit frustrating but then managed to hole out from 60 metres and make a few more bridies from there”.

Jones and Thompson will be joined in the final group tomorrow by Masterton professional Harry Bateman and local Josh Geary who sit two shots back from the amateur pair on seven under par.

Pre tournament favourite Josh Geary made a late charge in the day today with three birides in his final six holes and will be looking for the local support as he makes a weekend charge.

Play starts at 8.30am tomorrow morning.