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Canberra golfer Brendan Jones looking for fresh start in 2016

All 13 of Brendan Jones’ wins on the Japan Golf Tour came with the broomstick putter, but the banning of anchoring isn’t why the Canberra golfer is looking for a “fresh start” this year.

It’s because he’s had a tough year, on and off the golf course in 2015, and wants to get back to the form that’s made him Australia’s most successful golfer in Japan.

Jones has won more than $10 million in prizemoney since turning professional at the end of 1999.

For all but two of those 16 years he’s used the broomstick anchored to his chest, but switched back to the normal-sized putter 15 months ago in preparation for Friday – when the ban on anchoring putters came into effect.

Given he’s hardly used the faithful long stick since returning from wrist surgery, that rule change wasn’t the reason Jones was looking forward to a fresh start.

Poor form and personal issues have the Royal Canberra member looking to turn over a new leaf.

He had just three top 10 finishes in 2015 and returned home mid-year to deal with family issues.

“It was a tough year both on and off the course. I understand through a whole career you go through adversity from time to time and 2015 was a year of adversity for me,” Jones said.

“I’m in a much better place than what I was this year, so when the calendar ticks over it will be a fresh start.

“I just want to get back to actually hitting the ball the way I have for the last 10 years. This year my hitting went off and I just need to get back to basics and do what comes naturally.”

Jones said his loss of form wasn’t due to the switch back to the short putter, something he hadn’t used since he first turned pro in December 1999.

He took up the broomstick about eight months later to give himself a confidence boost.

The 40-year-old said his putting statistics were the same before and after switching back in 2013 so that wasn’t the reason behind his slump.

Instead, he was “complicating” things and thinking too much, instead of “just playing golf”, a problem fuelled by several off-course issues that affected his mental state.

“It’s changing my attitude, simplify things. This year I thought way too much, when I was struggling with my game I did things that I don’t normally do,” he said.

“Over my career, my most successful years have always come from just playing.”

Jones was unsure when he will begin his 2016 campaign, but it will either be at the Singapore Open at the end of January or the New Zealand Open in March.

Singapore has been added to the Japan tour this year, but it falls right in the middle of when Jones normally takes a couple of months off.

He’s entered it, but might opt to begin across the ditch instead.

“I’ll do a bit of work over the next few weeks and if I feel I’m in a good enough place to go and compete then I’ll go and play [the Singapore Open],” Jones said.

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