Jones fends off Spieth and Scott

SYDNEY • Matt Jones held off world No. 1 Jordan Spieth and a charging Adam Scott on his home golf course to win the 100th edition of the Australian Open by a stroke, after a dramatic final round yesterday.

Leading by three shots overnight, the 35-year-old gave his pursuers every chance with a double bogey and a triple bogey on the front nine.

However, four birdies in a two-over 73 proved enough for victory on eight-under 276 at the Australian Golf Club.

"That was very stressful, it wasn't comfortable out there for me," an emotional Jones, the world No. 81, said after receiving the Stonehaven Cup for the first time.

"I've watched the Australian Open for many years and just to have my name on that trophy is something I'll never forget."

Defending champion Spieth had a 15-foot eagle putt at the last to force a play-off but sent his ball wide of the hole and had to settle for a 71, giving him a share of second place with Scott on 277.

"I thought that it would all be there today and I just didn't start out strong enough," said the US Open and Masters champion, who now heads to his second tournament defence in succession and Thursday's Tiger Woods-hosted Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

"It's frustrating to only shoot even par when I feel like my game was certainly ready to shoot a three, four, five under round."

Former world No. 1 Scott, still seeking his first title of the year, had surged up the leader board with a seven-birdie 65 to move to seven-under.

His compatriot Rod Pampling had earlier sunk a 60-foot eagle putt on the 18th green for a remarkable course-record 61, which was only good enough for fourth on 278.

"The hitting was fantastic and it just gave me the opportunity to make the putts," said the 46-year- old, twice a winner on the US PGA Tour.

"I was just seeing them really well and obviously it's a bonus to get that one on the last. I was more looking at trying to give it a chance but make sure I was a chance to still make the birdie."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2015, with the headline 'Jones fends off Spieth and Scott'. Print Edition | Subscribe