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Matt Jones is a multiple Emirates Australian Open champion.
The hometown boy held off all challenges on the final day at The Australian to win the Stonehaven Cup today, shooting a final-round 69 to win by a shot at 15-under par.
South African Louis Oosthuizen threatened to challenge all day but ultimately fell just short, finishing second at 14-under par. Oosthuizen, the world No. 24, made a sensational eagle at the par-five 18th to keep the pressure on Jones, who momentarily faltered at the final hole after the South African had posted his score.
The Australian had made a crucial birdie putt from long range at the 17th, and despite Oosthuizen’s eagle from four metres, he walked to the 18th tee knowing a par would win it for him. He drove into the left fairway trap, his punch from the bunker caught a tree and dropped down into the pine needles, and suddenly it was game-on.
A lay-up, a nice chip from the front of the green and a putt of just more than a metre later, and he had the triumph that fans around the green wanted.
Jones, 39, who grew up playing golf at The Australian before moving to America, won the Open in 2015 but tends to fly under the radar. He has survived and thrived on the US PGA Tour for more than 10 years, living in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Melissa and their three children, who were on the last green to celebrate with him.
Only 18 previous men, including all-time greats such as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Greg Norman and Peter Thomson, have won multiple Australian Opens. It is heady company for Jones.