Stars can’t keep up with Jones

Matthew Jones  poses for photographers as he holds the Stone Haven Cup after winning the Australian Open golf tournament in Sydney. Photo: AP Photo/Rob Griffith.
Matthew Jones poses for photographers as he holds the Stone Haven Cup after winning the Australian Open golf tournament in Sydney. Photo: AP Photo/Rob Griffith.

Sydneysider Matt Jones held off past and present world No.1s Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth to win the Australian Open.

Starting the final round at 10-under par, three-shots clear of Spieth and nine ahead of Scott, Jones, who earned worldwide notoriety by playing a shot from the second level of a grandstand at this year's US PGA Championship, dropped back to share the lead at six-under midway through the round.

Three of those four dropped shots came on the ninth when his finished with a triple bogey after landing in the water and three-putting after taking his penalty drop.

But his fortunes turned on the 12th when he holed out from a greenside bunker to save par. Birdies on the 14th and 16th put him back in the lead, and a par on the par-five 18th was enough to see him finish at eight-under, one clear of Scott and Spieth.

Matt Jones clinches the title. Photo: AAP Image.
Matt Jones clinches the title. Photo: AAP Image.

The American had the chance to force a play-off with a 5m putt for eagle on the last, but the effort slid past the hole.

Earlier, Scott gave himself a shot by finishing at seven-under after shooting a six-under par 65, including a birdie on the final hole that ended the hopes of a fairytale by veteran Aussie Rod Pampling (six-under).

Starting the day seemingly well out of contention at four-over par, 14 shots off the lead, Pampling dropped another shot on the first hole before racking up nine birdies and then draining a 23m putt for eagle on the last to set the tournament alight.

The Queenslander's stunning 10-under par 61 smashed the previous course record of 63 at The Australian set by Spieth during the final round last year while winning the tournament by six strokes, when Pampling was runner-up.

Pampling, who ended in fourth place, was rewarded for the round of his life with qualification for next year's British Open as one of the top three finishers not already exempt.

The triumphant Jones and fellow Aussie Nick Cullen (three-under) nabbed the other two coveted spots into The Open at Royal Troon.



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