By Matt Murnane
Matt Jones has survived a nerve-jangling final round to outlast world No.1 Jordan Spieth and a bolting Adam Scott to win the Australian Open today.
The low-profile US PGA Tour professional announced himself to the wider Australian sporting public by winning his first "Triple Crown" event at a course at which he is a member, emerging from a Sunday dogfight by one shot over the event's two headline acts.
There were numerous occasions where it appeared Jones would cave under the pressure in front of big galleries at the Australian Golf Club, however a couple of clutch approach shots from tough positions proved to be just enough to keep his final round score at two-under, and his overall score at eight-under.
Defending champion Spieth had a 15-foot eagle putt on the par five finishing hole that would have won the tournament, however it came up just short, leaving the American superstar to settle for a what-could-have-been even par round of 71 and seven-under overall.
On a crazy day where Rod Pampling shot a course record 10-under round 61 to finish in fourth position, Scott came from nine shots behind at the start of the day to finish tied second with Spieth, producing an aggressive round of six-under that could have lifted him to an incredible comeback win had several putts that shaved the hole dropped in.
It was a similar story for Spieth, who began the day with three bogeys before coming home with two birdies in the last five holes, but there were several chances for more that would have completed his mission for back-to-back titles.
Yet neither Scott or Spieth had to endure more ups and downs than Jones, playing in front of his home-state crowd.
Jones' three-shot lead over the field at the start of the day was obliterated in the first two holes as he committed a bogey and a double bogey to slip back to seven-under.
He then had a triple bogey on the 9th hole, a scenario that saw him lose the outright lead for the first time, and it appeared certain he would drop off the top of the leaderboard all together at the par four 12th hole.
However, Jones produced one the tournament's most important moments when he chipped in from the bunker with his fourth shot to turn a potential bogey or double bogey into a par .
The US PGA Tour winner then held his nerve down the stretch – going bogey-free through the back nine and conjuring birdies on 14 and 16 to edge in front of thr chasing pack.
Jones then only just made the nervous par putt on 18 to secure his first Stonehaven Cup.