Honda Classic 2021: Matt Jones Cruises to 1st PGA Tour Win Since 2014

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2021

Matt Jones of Australia reacts to his shot on the fourth tee during the final round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Marta Lavandier/Associated Press

Matt Jones raced out to the top of the leaderboard after a brilliant first round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on Thursday, and he never looked back from there.   

Jones shot a two-under 68 Sunday to finish 12 under for the tournament, topping Brandon Hagy by five strokes. He opened with a nine-under 61 on Thursday and stayed the course from there. 

Five players at six under (Chase Seiffert, Brendan Steele, Denny McCarthy, Russell Henley and C.T. Pan) rounded out the top of the leaderboard. 

For Jones, who won his second event on the PGA Tour and his first since the 2014 Shell Houston Open, it was an emotional day. 

"I mean, I've had some tough times between that and now," Jones said of his gaps between wins. "Pretty emotional. Seven years. I just worked hard. I had some tough times putting but just worked hard with my coach back in Australia ... and it's finally paid off."


The hard work comes to fruition. 👏 https://t.co/0hjUZLhQaT

Dylan Dethier @dylan_dethier

Matt Jones was FEELING HIMSELF this week: "I was hitting it pretty good on Tuesday, Wednesday, and I said, 'If someone beats me this week, they've cheated.' So I was pretty confident going into the week, which is not normal for me..."

With the win, Jones earned himself a cool $1.26 million payout and a guaranteed berth in The Masters. Not bad for four days' worth of work. 

It wasn't an easy road. He posted three bogeys in his final round, though he made up for it with five birdies. He averaged a driving distance of 314.9 yards Sunday, had a 78.6 percent driving accuracy, hit 94.4 percent of greens in regulation and gained 0.86 strokes putting, per PGATour.com.


Wasting no time. A birdie at the 1st for @MattJonesGolf and he extends the lead to 4. #QuickHits https://t.co/MZKwta8ANA


Following up the bogey with a birdie. 💪 The lead is back to 4 for @MattJonesGolf. #QuickHits https://t.co/qgaKTXBEkD


Pouring it on. 🕳 @MattJonesGolf leads by 5 with two to play. #QuickHits https://t.co/xO0kbu793k


Tying the largest margin of victory @TheHondaClassic. @MattJonesGolf is a TOUR winner again. https://t.co/ZzUepJU3p4

It was a tougher day for Aaron Wise, who led the Honda Classic after the second round but shot a 75 on Saturday and a 73 on Sunday to drop to four under. A triple-bogey on No. 10 all but ended his chances of keeping pace with Jones. 


4 putts from 27 feet for Aaron Wise. A triple bogey opens up a 4-shot lead for Matt Jones. https://t.co/70x8gOGDBP

Other notable finishers included defending champ Sungjae Im (-5), Adam Scott (-4), Phil Mickelson (-2) and Rickie Fowler (+7).

But the day belonged to Jones, and it was all about keeping his cool.

"It was probably the calmest I've been for a golf tournament for four straight days. Especially, I mean, you can't get a tougher golf course to win on than this one, in these conditions," he said on the broadcast. "To be able to do that, on this golf course, is amazing, and something I can build on for the future, hopefully."