Sydney, November 29: Australian Matt Jones held on to secure his first victory on home soil at the Emirates Australian Open on OneAsia today.
Playing The Australian, his home course, Jones fired rounds of 67, 68, 68 and 73 for a tournament total of eight-under 276.
It was a challenging day for Jones who described his golf as sloppy yet he held his nerve at key times throughout the round to ensure he held the Stonehaven Cup.
He started the day with a three-shot lead over world number one Jordan Spieth from the United States but toured the front nine in
four-over-par 39 mainly due to double on the second and triple on the ninth. However, he made birdies on 14 and 16 and did not drop a hot on the inward half to seal victory.
This is Jones’ first win on home soil, and second as a professional, but it was made even more special by his friends, family and coach, PGA Professional, Gary Barter watching on. It has also seen him book a place at The Open next July.
“There was a lot of stress and a lot of anxious moments out there, but came through with a lip in putt on the last to get the trophy, which was nice,” said Jones.
“To have my name on this trophy with Nicklaus, Newton, Norman, all those guys, it’s a dream come true for me and it’s something that I can’t have taken away from me.”
Playing alongside Spieth in the final round, Jones said he was surprised that Spieth’s eagle putt on the 18th didn’t drop to tie him for the lead and force a playoff.
“That was one of the best fought wins I’ve ever seen, to come through what he did on two, nine and then that par he made on 12. 12 was by far the tipping point in the round,” said Spieth.
“For Matt to get it, it’s well deserved. He played the best golf this week. He just had those couple of holes today or he would have won by four or five. I’ll be back to Australia at some point and I really hope to continue to kind of come back here, because I really do love it here.”
Joining Spieth in a tie for runner-up was Adam Scott from Australia who fired six-under 65 in the final round to finish on seven-under 277.
Australian Rod Pampling was the other big story of the day firing a new course record, 10-under 61, the Queenslander spent the afternoon as the clubhouse leader.
He finished his tournament on six under approximately three hours before the final putt had sunk.