Jones outlasts world No. 1 to win Australian Open
Matt Jones has won his second professional title taking out the Australian Open at his home club, The Australian Golf Club in Sydney.
Leading by three at the start of the day, Jones closed with a rollercoaster 2-over-par 73 to edge out Adam Scott (65) and defending champion Jordan Spieth (71) by a shot with a 72-hole total of 8-under.Matt Jones is all smiles after securing his first Australian Open title
Rod Pampling finished fourth a further stroke back after firing a course-record 10-under 61 early on Sunday. Nick Cullen (70) and Lincoln Tighe (72) shared fifth at 3-under.
The final round shaped as a battle in two of the overnight leaders before Jones and Spieth made horror starts to open up the tournament. And the chances came running.
Scott at one stage held the clubhouse lead after a birdie on the 18th to close the tournament with a spirited 6-under 65.
Spieth was also refusing to let go and Pampling had earlier set the target of 6-under to beat after setting the course record with a 10-under 61.
“It was a new experience for me and I was able to grind it out,” Jones said after receiving the Stonehaven Cup for the first time.
“I was under a lot of stress out there. I’ve won a title that I’ve always dreamed of winning and now I’m off to The Open.”
Jones and Spieth started slowly with Jones carding a double bogey to then go onto to make a mess on the 9th with a triple.
“I certainly made it a lot more harder out there than what I needed to,” said Jones.
“I could have let it slip but I hung in there and getting up and down on the 10th was really important for me. The back nine at The Australian I find easier so I knew if I just kept it going I would score on the back.”
Jones was able to stabilise his scoring with a string of pars from 10 through to 13, before birdies on the 14th & 16th enabled some breathing space heading down the closing stretch.
Spieth had a 15-foot eagle putt on the par five finishing hole that would have won the tournament, however it came up just short, leaving the World No.1 to settle for a what-could-have-been Even par round of 71 and 7-under overall.
Jones then only just made the nervous par putt on 18 to secure the victory.
“I was expecting Jordan [Spieth] to make the putt on the 18th,” said Jones.
“I was left with a putt a little longer length than what was ideal. I thought it was moving to the left but the ball just caught the left inside of the cup and went in.”
“I’ve watched the Australian Open for many years and just to have my name on that trophy is something I’ll never forget.”