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[ Home >> About Us - Store Information >> Great Golf Deals.com Blog >> Great Golf Deals Blog >> What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Matt Jones at The 2014 Shell Houston - Great Golf Deals.com Blog ]

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Matt Jones at The 2014 Shell Houston - Great Golf Deals.com Blog


A guy named Matt won the Shell Houston Open Sunday. But it wasn't the Matt Kuchar who seemingly had the tournament under his thumb with the sponsor's boxes in sight and the trophy being made ready for him.



Nope. It was the other Matt Jones who seized the moment when Kuchar's brain seized up, having somehow concluded the best approach on what should have been the week's last hole was to go left, where a large and potentially dangerous body of water lurked, instead of right, where a relatively harmless little bunker had suddenly caused him to recoil in horror.

The 34-year-old Floridian, who spent successive Sundays in Texas in the last group without securing a title either time, ruefully explained his fateful "splash!" this way: "I didn't want to bail out in the right bunker. But, looking back, you can make par from the right bunker and not from the water. I tugged it a little too much. It's smarter to bail out and give yourself a chance, but I was looking to make four and win the tournament."

Instead, Kuchar made a five and back-pedaled into a playoff with an opponent already playing with house money. Jones began his round six strokes behind Kuchar's leading pace, then promptly bogeyed. He was at best an afterthought until he reeled off six birdies over an eight-hole stretch, added another on No. 16 before draining the coupe-de-grace putt on 18, a 46-footer that rolled and rolled and rolled until it plopped into the cup, giving him a 6-under 66 on the day.

Jones said he had it all the way, too.

"There was a little double break," he explained. "I thought I had a good read on it. As soon as it got on top of the ridge and started going down, I thought it was in because it looked good. I knew it had the right space."

But that shot wasn't the shot, the one he later accurately labeled "amazing" and the one he saved for what became a short-lived playoff, beginning and ending as it did on 18. The shot was his 126-foot pitch with a sand wedge over a bunker for the birdie that gave him his first PGA Tour victory, his first trip to the Masters and his first paycheck of more than a million bucks.

In fact, just the difference between what Jones made by winning, $1,152,000, and what second place was worth to the chagrined Kuchar exceeded what Jones had earned all season. Too bad the cold, rainy weather made such a dent in the galleries. But the brave souls who came out and stayed shivering until the end would be rewarded with a show of shows at the SHO.

"This win means everything to me right now," said Jones, a 33-year-old from Sydney who hasn't had much experience with same since turning pro after competing collegiately at Arizona State. "That's what we play for. And I can't wait to get (to Augusta) and get some practice rounds in, (then) hopefully play well and hopefully Aussies can win three in a row."

The Aussies' streak reached two with Jones' breakthrough at the Golf Club of Houston after Steven Bowditch had copped the Valero Texas Open championship a week earlier, also at the expense of poor Kuchar. He'd gone out tied for second in San Antonio but fell from contention with a 75. Here, Kuchar took a three-shot lead into the last round. Through 69 holes, in fact, he remained three swings better than anyone.

Small consolation, although he tried to see a half-full glass in front of him after shooting 72 following a 66, a 67 and a 68 over the first three rounds, respectively.

"I've had a fourth and a second (in Texas)," Kuchar said. "I played steady golf for four days. Hoping to keep the train rolling."

Kuchar is a six-time champion on the Tour, so Jones admitted he couldn't feel too sorry for him, saying, "I'm happy that it was my time to get my first win. I'm sure he'll have plenty more, too. I've always believed I had the golf game to do it. If I putt well, I'm going to be fine. I can compete with anyone (with) my ball-striking."

Jones didn't fully realize how much in contention he was until it was on top of him because he hadn't been paying any attention to the scoreboard.

"I was just out there playing golf . . . like it was a practice round," he said. I knew I had to make birdies. I told myself, 'Go and be aggressive and try to make as many birdies as you can.'"

Jones follows instructions well, it should be noted. His only concern going forward is where to find lodging in Augusta on such short notice. He'd been planning to take this week off to spend quality time with his young family. He has a 3-week-old at home, if you can imagine.

"Hopefully I'll get on a flight tonight," he said. "I'll sleep in my car if I have to. I'm just happy to be (going)."

WHAT'S IN MATT'S WINNING GOLF BAG?


Driver: Titleist 913D3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Attas Elements MK 7X

3 Wood: Titleist 910F.d (15 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Attas Elements MK 8X

Driving Iron: Mizuno Fli-Hi (2-iron)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Irons: Titleist MB 712 (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design 254-10, Titleist Vokey Design 258-08 (bent to 60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Length: + 0.5 inches long
Lie Angle: 64 degrees

Putter: Scotty Cameron Tour Only Prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

You Can Score Matt's Winning Gear and Deep Discount Prices at Great Golf Deals.com - Discount Golf Equipment



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