Golf-Jones and McNeill take joint control in Puerto Rico

March 8 Thu Mar 8, 2012 11:54pm GMT

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March 8 (Reuters) - Australia's Matt Jones and American George McNeill shared the lead following Thursday's first round of the Puerto Rico Open after shooting six-under par rounds of 66.

The 21-year-old from Sydney, who after being viewed as one of the bright hopes from Australia struggled last year, eagled the par-five second and mixed five birdies with one bogey the rest of the way at the Trump International.

"I had unbelievable ball striking. I think I was pin high every hole except 17, when I wanted to be a bit short of it, then I made good putts, had a good eagle on the first to get started and had a great day," said Jones

"I've been making adjustments. My putting was terrible last year and at the start of this year, and I worked hard on it last week and finally figured it out so I feel normal like I did in 2010.

Floridian McNeill had a clean round of six birdies to ensure he was a stroke ahead of compatriot Ben Curtis (67).

Another Australian Gavin Coles shot 69 along with Argentine Angel Cabrera at the event which, running in the week of the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Doral, Florida, offers a chance for some of the lower ranked players to shine. (Reporting by Simon Evans in Doral, Florida; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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