Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Jones Is Prepared for a Hectic Week On and Off the Course.(Sports)

Byline: Mark Smith Journal Staff Writer

Experiencing fatherhood, particularly for the first time, arguably is life's greatest joy.

Winning a big-time professional golf tournament isn't too shabby, either.

For Kent Jones, both could happen later this week and in his own back yard, to boot.

"It could be one amazing week," says Jones, a former University of New Mexico star who's one of the favorites at this week's New Mexico Classic. "One thing's for sure: It sure will be crazy."

Jones and his wife, Joanna, are Carlsbad natives who reside in Albuquerque and are expecting their first child. The due date is Saturday. As fate would have it, that's also the day of the third round of the 72-hole event, which begins Thursday at Santa Ana Golf Club.

With another mouth to feed, a few extra dollars would come in handy for the couple. The Classic will dangle $425,000 in front of the 156-player field, including $76,500 to the winner.

Then, again, it's not that Kent and Joanna are exactly hurting financially. Jones is fifth on this year's money list with more than $200,000 in earnings.

Jones is the only two-time winner on this year's tour, having captured the Greensboro Open and Shreveport Open. One more victory sends him straight to the PGA Tour.

As it is, Jones is pretty well assured of grabbing a spot on next year's PGA Tour. …

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