Australia’s Matt Jones chipped in from rough on the first playoff hole to win the PGA Tour’s Houston Open title and claim the final spot in the Masters on Sunday.
Jones, of Sydney, poured in a long birdie putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Matt Kuchar, then chipped in for birdie on the extra hole to claim his first PGA Tour victory.
“It’s amazing. It’s been a while coming. I’ve been out here seven years now, so it’s good to finally get one. I’ve had a few chances, so I’m quite happy now,” Jones said.
Jones fired a six-under 66 to get in on 15-under 273 on the Tournament Course at the Golf Club of Houston.
Kuchar led by one in the 18th fairway, but put his second shot in the water. He got up and down for bogey to force the extra session, closing with an even-par 72.
The pair returned to the 18th hole for the playoff.
Jones found a fairway bunker off the tee, before Kuchar hit his drive right down the middle of the fairway.
Jones played short of the green in the right rough, while Kuchar fired his approach into a bunker right of the green.
Jones’ long chip landed on the green then curled into the cup for a birdie. Kuchar failed to match, as his shot from the bunker landed 10 feet short of the cup.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia fired a two-under 70 to take third place at 13-under, while Cameron Tringale was one shot back after shooting a 71. Shawn Stefani (69) took fifth at 10-under 278 and Rickie Fowler (71) was sixth at nine-under.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy closed with a seven-under 65 and was one of five players sharing seventh place at eight-under 280. Phil Mickelson shot 71 in the final round and was one stroke behind McIlroy at seven-under.
Jones got off to a rocky start with a bogey at the first to drop seven strokes back.
His rally began with three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the third. Jones birdied the par-five eighth en route to making the turn at 12-under. That put him just two back of the leaders.
NH COLLECTION OPEN
AP, CADIZ, Spain
Marco Crespi of Italy won his first European Tour title on Sunday after carding a three-under 69 in the final round for a two-shot victory at the inaugural edition of the NH Collection Open in Cadiz, Spain.
Playing in his 25th European Tour event, the 35-year-old Crespi had five birdies to overcome a pair of bogeys on the final day for a 10-under total of 278.
Jordi Garcia of Spain carded a 66 to climb into a tie for second with Richie Ramsay of Scotland, who shot a 68. Felipe Aguilar of Chile (71) and overnight leader Matthew Nixon of England (73) finished three shots back.