SYDNEY — Matt Jones overcame a bogey, double-bogey and triple-bogey on the front nine Sunday to escape with a one-stroke victory at the Australian Open after shooting a 2-over 73.
Jones, who led defending champion Jordan Spieth by three strokes to begin the day, finished with a 72-hole total of 8-under 276.
Adam Scott, who shot 65 on The Australian Golf Club course Sunday, and Spieth, who shot 71 and missed an eagle attempt on the 18th that could have forced a playoff, were tied for second.
Australian veteran Rod Pampling, who had a course-record 61, was fourth, two strokes back.
Jones, Pampling, Scott and Spieth were frequently tied for the lead over the final hour, but a birdie on the 16th put the Australian a stroke clear.
Jones’ round included holing a bunker shot on the 12th hole for par. There was even drama at the end for the Australian, who dropped his club after hitting his third shot on the par-5 18th, thinking it had gone in the water. The ball landed safely on the green, however, and he holed a three-footer for par that nearly lipped out.
“I got the job done, but there was a lot of stress and anxious moments,” Jones said. “A lip-in putt on the last to get the win.”
Jones double-bogeyed the par-3 second hole when it took him two shots to get out of a bunker, then triple-bogeyed the ninth when his approach shot from the rough went into the middle of a lake. He made the turn in 4-over 39 and was tied with Pampling for the lead, with Scott and Spieth one behind.
“I really didn’t help myself there on nine,” Jones said. “But even after the early bogeys, I knew I had time to make it up.”
That he did, shooting 2-under 34 on the back nine, while Scott and Spieth came up short in their attempts to overtake him.
Scott, who trailed Jones by nine strokes at the start of the day, stayed tied for the lead when he made a 15-foot putt for par on the 17th, then pulled back into a tie with Jones when he birdied the last hole -- before Jones’ clinching birdie.
MALELANE, South Africa — Charl Schwartzel eased to a four-shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Sunday to become the third South African behind Ernie Els and Retief Goosen to win 10 European Tour titles.
Schwartzel’s fourth triumph at the Alfred Dunhill was ultimately comfortable as he finished with a 2-under 70 for a 15-under total of 273. Schwartzel also claimed a small piece of history for himself by becoming the first South African to win a European Tour event four times.
Schwartzel won ahead of a group of Frenchmen who chased him on the final day at Leopard Creek Country Club. Gregory Bourdy was second on 11 under, Benjamin Hebert was third on 10 under, and rookie Sebastien Gros finished fourth on 9 under.