HUMBLE, Texas — Matt Jones told his caddie he was about to make a 42-yard chip-in on the first playoff hole at the Houston Open.
The Australian did just that Sunday, earning his first PGA Tour win in spectacular fashion — and changing his immediate travel plans in the process.
Jones, who began the day six shots off the lead, shot a final-round 66 and ended the tournament 15 under to earn his first trip to the Masters with the dramatic win over Matt Kuchar.
He earned nearly $1.2 million for the win, also making amends for a disastrous missed putt last September that appeared destined to keep him from playing at Augusta National.
Destiny, however, had other plans for the 33-year-old who played collegiately at Arizona State.
“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.”
In September, Jones lipped out an 8-foot birdie putt on the last hole of the BMW Championship — a putt that would have earned him a trip to next week’s Masters by sending him to the Tour Championship.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Lexi Thompson left Michelle Wie behind Sunday — off the tee and on the leaderboard in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
The 19-year-old Thompson closed with a bogey-free 4-under 68 at Mission Hills for a three-stroke victory over Wie. Thompson birdied four of the first nine holes to open a five-stroke lead and parred the final nine.
Wie birdied the final hole for a 71. She used her driver only four times, choosing to hit fairway-metal stingers on the other 10 driving holes — leaving her as much as 60 yards behind Thompson. When both hit 3-woods, Thompson also had the advantage.
Thompson became the second-youngest major winner in LPGA Tour history at 19 years, 1 month, 27 days. Morgan Pressel set the record in her 2007 victory at Mission Hills at 18 years, 10 months, 9 days.
Thompson finished at 14-under 274 for her fourth LPGA Tour victory. She opened with a 73, shot a tournament-best 64 on Friday and had a 69 on Saturday to tie for the lead with Wie at 10 under. Thompson had only one bogey — when she missed a 3-footer on the par-5 18th Saturday — in her last 55 holes.