Jones holds off Oosthuizen for second Aussie Open win

Matt Jones has collected his second Australian Open crown in dramatic fashion holding off a fast-finishing Louis Oosthuizen to win on the last hole at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

Jones stood on the 18th tee thinking he had a two shot buffer but in fact it was to be only one after Oosthuizen made an impressive eagle on the closing par 5. An errant tee shot had Jones in the left side fairway bunkers where his escape shot clipped a branch landing the ball in the pine needles some 150 metres from the hole.

Matt Jones Matt Jones holds his second Australian Open trophy (Credit: Anthony Powter)

At this stage Jones still was unaware what had unfolded earlier and hit his approach short of the green on the left hand side. Then the enormity of the situation unfolded as Jones realised he needed to get up and down to save par and win the championship and stave off a play-off with Oosthuizen.

“I was told I had a two shot lead and only needed a par until I got to the green,” said Jones.

“I was actually really calm out there all week and was more nervous in 2015 when I won. The chip wasn’t that difficult, it was leaning down-grain so I could just get it over the bunker and let it release a little. It was a pretty easy par but I made it more difficult than it had to be.”

WITB: Matt Jones

  • Titleist TS2/10.5º Driver
  • Titleist TS2/16.5º Fairway
  • Titleist 712 MB/4-PW Irons
  • Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52º, 56º, 60º)
  • Scotty Cameron GSS Putter

Jones’ win sees him join an elite group including Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Peter Thomson, Greg Norman and Jordan Spieth as players to have won the Australian Open twice. He was the first player since Peter Senior won in 2012.

“It’s a great honour to be able to put my name on the trophy. There’s multiple major champions on there,” said Jones.

“To be on there with Jack, Gary and Greg and Adam, Rory (McIlroy), Jordan (Spieth), to be able to do it twice is very special and it’s something that I will probably look back on later in life and be very proud of.”

Jones took a three shot lead into the final round and despite three bogeys never relinquished the top spot, carding four-straight rounds in the sixties with rounds of 67-65-68-69.

With the victory Jones also qualified for next year’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s.

“I’ve played in maybe five British Opens and it’s the one major I would most like to win,” said Jones. “To be able to do that and plan a schedule around that, will be fantastic as I’ve come off a bit of a lean period on tour which has toughened me knowing that I need to perform and I was able to do that today.”

Also qualifying for three qualifying spots at The Open were Aaron Pike, and Japanese amateur Takumi Kanaya who shared third position.

A string of players with England’s Paul Casey, Aussie Greg Chalmers, New Zealand’s Denzel Ieremia, American Cameron Tringale and reigning Australian Master of the Amateurs Champion Chun An Yu from Chinese Taipei shared 5th position.