Matt Jones Routs the Field at Honda PDF Print E-mail


Matt Jones hoists the crystal at PGA National after winning the Honda Classic




(AP Report) Palm Beach Gardens, Fl. - When Matt Jones won his first

PGA Tour title seven years ago, he needed a 45-foot birdie putt just to get

into a playoff and then a 40-yard chip-in to take the victory.

This win was far less dramatic, yet just as meaningful. It got him back to

the Masters. Jones won the Honda Classic by five shots Sunday, a final

round of 2-under 68 good enough to finish the week at 12-under 268 at

PGA National. The margin matched the largest in tournament history,

tying the mark set by Jack Nicklaus in 1977 and matched by Camilo

Villegas in 2010.

The 40-year-old Australian earned $1.26 million and, this time, he’ll

have more than a day to prepare for the trip to Augusta National. His

win at the Houston Open in 2014 — and his Masters invite — came just

one day before he had to go to Augusta, making it a scramble to get

family and friends together to share in the experience. The Masters

starts April 8, so he’s got much more time to plan this one. Jones

started the week with a course-record-tying round of 9-under 61.

He was three shots behind Aaron Wise after 36 holes after a second

-round 70, and his round of 69 on Saturday was good enough to put

him up by three entering Sunday. Wise’s chances ended at the par-4

10th. He hit his second into a bunker, then four-putted from 25 feet for

triple-bogey. Jones’ lead went to four, and he avoided trouble the rest

of the way, while Wise finished with a 73 and tied for 13th at 4 under.

Brandon Hagy (66) finished 7 under and alone in second on his 30th

birthday, his chance at winning doomed by a third-round 76. Chase

Seiffert (64), Brendan Steele (65), C.T. Pan (70), Denny McCarthy

(67) and Russell Henley (68) tied for third at 6 under.