Sydney’s Matt Jones has booked himself the final spot in the field at this week’s US Masters with a stunning come from behind victory at the Shell Houston Open.
Chipping in for birdie on the first playoff hole, the Australian defeated overnight leader Matt Kuchar who had a six shot lead over Jones heading into the final round.
But a 6-under-66 saw Jones quickly reduce the American’s overnight lead, Kuchar left to rue yet another missed opportunity.
However Kuchar’s disappointment was Jones’ joy, the 33-year-old pocketing a cheque for a cool US$1,152,000 and now preparing to play his first US Masters.
“I have a lot of tickets to buy and changes to make now,” Jones laughed after his win.
“Going to Augusta is amazing…The win means everything to me right now because that’s what we play for is to win. To have Augusta as a reward for that win is amazing.”
In taking out this morning’s win, Jones became the fourth Australian to win on the world’s most lucrative golf Tour in 2014, joining Jason Day, John Senden and Steven Bowditch as 2014 PGA TOUR winners.
Incredibly, with four wins, Australia remains the only country outside of the United States to have won on the PGA TOUR so far in 2014.
With the first round of the US Masters now only days away, Jones lifts the number of Australians heading to Augusta to seven.
He joins Adam Scott, Jason Day, Marc Leishman, John Senden, Steven Bowditch and Amateur Oliver Goss in the Augusta field.
The Masters will be only Jones’ second start in a Major, the Sydneysider finishing T40 at last year’s US PGA Championship.
- With his victory, Matt Jones has claimed his first PGA TOUR victory in his 156th career start on TOUR.
- Jones earned $1,152,000 with his victory and is now 18th on the current PGA TOUR money list.
- Jones is the ninth winner of the Shell Houston Open from Australia and joins Bruce Devlin (1972), Bruce Crampton (1973, ’75), David Graham (1983), Stuart Appleby (1999, 2006), Robert Allenby (2000) and Adam Scott (2007) as career champions.
- He also becomes the third Australian native to win in the last four weeks, joining Steven Bowditch (Valero Texas Open) and John Senden (Valspar Championship). He is also the fourth overall. Jason Day (WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship) also won earlier this year
- Jones’ previous best showing this year was a T12 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He was T14 in his most recent outing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
- His best PGA TOUR career finish prior to his win came a year ago when he was T2 at The Greenbrier Classic.