by Jeff Skinner
Matt Jones has to hurry up and find a place in Augusta this week. In the most unlikely of scenarios, Jones won the Shell Houston Open and earned the last available place in the field at The Masters.
Jones started the day six shots off the lead with reliable Matt Kuchar in front. But a wild 46 foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole got Jones to 14 under par, one behind Kuchar. When Kuchar rinsed his approach to 18 and managed to save bogey he and Jones went to a sudden death playoff.
And both sudden and death it was. Jones never even had a chance to putt as he holed out his third shot from 42 yards for a birdie three. When Kuchar’s birdie try from a greenside bunker missed Jones had won his first PGA Tour event and started to scramble to make arrangements to Augusta. All Kuch could do was smile underneath his brim as Jones’ shot rolled into the cup.
“Going to Augusta is amazing,” Jones said. “The win means everything to me right now because that’s what we play for is to win. To have Augusta as a reward for that win is amazing.” Jones’ schedule has suddenly got very busy. “I was going home to play with my 2-year-old and 3-week-old,” Jones said. “So, bit of a change now that I think they’ll be on a plane to Augusta as well. We’ve got to find a house.”