Matt Jones claimed his second Australian Open at his home club The Australian in Sydney. This was a special win for Jones as this was not only his second win but in a star studded field who were preparing for the President’s Cup this week at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
Jones went into the final round with a 3 shot lead and kept that lead most of the day as challengers came and went and was cruising to victory but a late charge from Louis Oosthuizen who eagled the 18th
hole made things very interesting.
Jones only had a one shot lead heading into par 5 18th
hole and his tee shot found the fairway bunker. Unable to find the fairway again, he had to lay up 10 metres short of the green and had to try to get up and down to claim his second Australian Open. Having chipped it to about 5 feet for par and like his first win when he held off Speith and Scott the putt lipped in for victory.
“It’s a great honour to be able to put my name on that trophy with all those champions and there are multiple major champions on there,” Jones said.
“To be on the trophy with Jack (Nicklaus) and Gary (Player) and Greg (Norman) and Adam (Scott), Rory (McIlroy), Jordan.
“To be able to do it twice is very special and something that I’ll be able to look back on later in life and be very proud of.”
The win was a little more special for Jones as The Australian Golf Club is his home club as he was growing up and has been a member there since he was 15. As Jones played over the 4 days he had members wish him well and had a lot of familiar faces in the crowd.
After the round Jones was talking to reports and said that he was unaware that Oosthuizen had cut this lead down to one heading into the last.
“I was under the assumption he was on a different score so I let my guard down and relaxed a little,” Jones said. “Then I saw what the score was and that chip became a little tougher.
“The chip wasn’t that difficult, it was leaning down-grain so I could just get it over the bunker and let it release a little. It was a pretty easy par but I made it more difficult than it had to be.”
“I think coming on the back nine I just wanted to try and get some numbers up there so that he’s a little bit under pressure, but he did really well and the whole day he was three shots ahead,” Oosthuizen said. “I had to do something and I went for it on the last and it paid off and made a nice eagle.”
The win also helped Jones secure a spot in the 149th Open along with Aaron Pike and Takumi Kanaya.