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Matt Jones | Honda Classic

By The Associated Press

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — When Matt Jones won his first PGA TOUR title seven years ago, he needed a 45-foot birdie putt just to get into a playoff and then a 40-yard chip-in to take the victory.

This win was far less dramatic, yet just as meaningful.

Jones won The Honda Classic by five shots Sunday, a final round of 2-under 68 good enough to finish the week at 12-under 268 at PGA National. The margin matched the largest in tournament history, tying the mark set by Jack Nicklaus in 1977 and matched by Camilo Villegas in 2010.

“It’s been seven years. It’s been a tough seven years,” Jones said. “I’ve had ups and I’ve had downs, as all golfers have, but it gets me into a lot of big tournaments now.”

The win moves him to 11th in the FedExCup and closer to making his first TOUR Championship. It also will get him into the Masters Tournament in April and THE PLAYERS Championship and Sentry Tournament of Champions in 2022. 

The 40-year-old Australian earned $1.26 million and, this time, he’ll have more than a day to prepare for the trip to Augusta National. His win at the Houston Open in 2014 — and his Masters invite — came just one day before he had to go to Augusta, so it was a mad scramble to get family and friends together to share in the experience.

“It’s going to be nice,” Jones said. “I can go prep for the Masters this time. Last time it was an absolute blur. I can’t remember a thing about it, so I’m going to do some prep this time before.”

Jones started the week with a course-record-tying round of 9-under 61. He was three shots behind Aaron Wise after 36 holes after a second-round 70, and his round of 69 on Saturday was good enough to put him up by three entering Sunday.

Brandon Hagy (66) finished 7 under and alone in second on his 30th birthday, his chance at winning doomed by a third-round 76. Chase Seiffert (64), Brendan Steele (65), C.T. Pan (70), Denny McCarthy (67) and Russell Henley (68) tied for third at 6 under.

Check out “Watts” in Matt’s bag below.

Driver: Titleist TSi2 (10 degrees) – Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X

3-wood: Titleist TSi3 (16.5 degrees) – Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Dual TiNi 80 TX

Irons: Mizuno MP Fli-Hi (2), Titleist 712MB (4-PW) – Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52-08F @51, 56-10S), SM8 (58-08M @60) – Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS Prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x