After a tough final round, Matt Jones has held on to secure his first victory on home soil at the Emirates Australian Open.
Playing The Australian, his home course, Jones fired rounds of 67, 68, 68 and 73 for a tournament total of 8-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.
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.
“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,” Jones said.
Playing alongside Jordan 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.
Joining Spieth in a tie for runner-up was Adam Scott who fired 6-under 65 in the final round to finish on 7-under 277.
“I’m sure I can take confidence out of going head to head and coming out on top with those two (Scott and Spieth),” Jones said. ” Adam had a tougher task and he played amazing today. It’s something I can use down the road. I’m just happy to come out on top.”
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 approximately three hours before the final putt had sunk.
Pampling will join Jones at The Open thanks to the top-3 finishers, not already exempt, at the Emirates Australian Open securing a start. This will be the second consecutive year that Pampling has earned his place via this qualification method.
First round leader Lincoln Tighe and 2014 Australian Masters champion Nick Cullen finished tied 5th on 3-under the card.
While Tighe would be happy with his best finish in one of the PGA Tour of Australasia’s Triple Crown tournaments, he will be disappointed not to secure the final place on offer to The Open.
That honour has gone to Nick Cullen, ranked higher in the Official World Golf Rankings, he will gain a start at The Open.
This year will be Cullen’s second trip to The Open after he qualified in 2012 and missed the cut by one shot.
With a final round 4-under 67, Terry Pilkadaris finished the Emirates Australian Open outright 7th on 2-under the card.
The only other players to finish the tournament under par were Todd Sinnott, Brett Rumford, Geoff Ogilvy, Aron Price and Rhein Gibson who round out the top-10 on 1-under 283.
For the final scores from the Emirates Australian Open please visit pga.org.au.
The PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit can also be found at pga.org.au.
The PGA Tour of Australasia will now head to RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast in Queensland for the Australian PGA Championship from 3-6 December.
A full PGA Tour of Australasia schedule can be found at pga.org.au.