Matt Jones won his first PGA Tour title Sunday in a playoff over Matt Kuchar to punch a last-minute ticket to Augusta. Here's the lowdown on the shocking conclusion to the Shell Houston Open.
Leaderboard: Matt Jones (-15), Matt Kuchar (-15), Sergio Garcia (-13), Cameron Tringale (-12), Shawn Stefani (-10), Rickie Fowler (-9)
What It Means: A week after a disappointing final-round 75 in tough conditions at the Texas Open, Kuchar looked to be cruising to victory Sunday in Houston.
Walking to the 18th tee, Kuchar had a two-shot lead over Jones, who was up ahead on the green looking over a 46-foot birdie putt. Before Kuchar teed off, Jones drained the long birdie putt to post 15 under. Kuchar found the middle of the 18th fairway, but then he did the unthinkable.
From 214 yards, Kuchar pulled his second shot left into the water. He made a great up-and-down to save bogey and force a playoff.
They went back to 18 for the playoff, and Jones pitched in from the right side of the green to win his first PGA Tour title in dramatic fashion.
Round of the day: Like a lot of players in Houston, Rory McIlroy was looking to build some confidence heading into the first major of the season. Here sure found it on Sunday. McIlroy fired a bogey-free 65 to finish tied for seventh. After a lackluster 2013 season, McIlroy has four top 10s in six worldwide starts in 2014, and he hasn't finished outside the top 25. No doubt there will be a little extra bounce in his step as the gets ready to try to win a green jacket.
Best of the rest: Jones shot a 6-under 66 and put the heat on Kuchar with birdie on 18 to cut his lead down to one. After Kuchar found the water on 18, Jones was in position to win in regulation. Instead, Kuchar made his bogey to force the playoff, but Jones hit a miraculous pitch to win.
Biggest disappointment: Kuchar held the lead for most of the day, but then he hit the worst possible shot at the worst possible time. He's won six times in his career, but for the second straight week, Kuchar failed to close the deal. He's still one of the favorites at Augusta, but no doubt he's missed two great opportunities to add to his trophy case.
Shot of the day: Jones had two of them. First he holed the 46-footer for birdie on 18 to put the pressure on Kuchar. Then Jones holed a 42-yard pitch shot in the playoff to win.
Quote of the day: "Golly, Matty!" – A frustrated Kuchar after he hit his second shot into the water on 18.