Thursday, April 22, 2021

Matt Jones takes Masters place with Honda Classic victory

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Australian Matt Jones recorded his second victory on the PGA Tour, winning the Honda Classic by five strokes and taking a start in next month’s Masters tournament in Augusta.

Ranked 83rd in the world, Jones took a three-stroke lead in the final round and golfed almost flawlessly to rule out any potential challengers.

A birdie putt in the difficult 16th place the result beyond doubt, Jones finding the back of the cup nearly five yards and stretching his lead to five shots.

The victory means Jones qualifies for the Masters for the second time in his career, after missing the cup in 2014. The appearance came just a week after his only other PGA Tour win, after beating Matt Kuchar in the playoffs. playoffs at the Houston Open. .

Jones opened the week by tying the course record of 61 in the first round, adding rounds of 70-69-68 to finish at 12 cents and taking the top prize of $ 1.63 million.

He choked on his face when asked about the seven-year gap between his two wins in the United States.

“I’ve had a rough time between that and now,” he said.

“Sorry, (I’m) pretty emotional. Seven years.

“I just worked hard, I had a hard time putting, but I just worked hard with my coach in Australia, and it finally paid off.”

Jones said he didn’t feel the pressure to be at the top of the table for all four rounds.

“It was probably the quietest I have been in for a golf tournament for four consecutive days.

“You can’t win a more difficult golf course than this, especially in these conditions.

“To be able to do that, on this golf course, is amazing, and I can bet on something for the future.

A double Australian Open champion, the 40-year-old is the third Australian to win the Honda Classic, after Stuart Appleby and Adam Scott.

His five-stroke winning margin equates to the biggest win in the tournament’s 49-year history, tied with Jack Nicklaus and Camilo Villegas.

It is also the 33rd consecutive season an Australian has won on the PGA Tour, the longest streak for a country other than the United States.

Adam Scott was tied for 13th at four under, Cameron Davis for 33rd tied and Lucas Herbert tied for 46th at two points.

“It’s a career-changing victory for him at 40,” former US PGA Champion Paul Azinger told NBC.

“It’s going to put it in place for a few years to come.”

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