Jordan Spieth found himself in position to repeat as Australian Open champion on Sunday, but even after a series of opening missteps from overnight leader Matt Jones, the No. 1 player in the world came up one shot short.
Spieth turned in an even-par round of 71 and missed an eagle opportunity on the 72nd hole that would have forced a playoff.
Instead, he made birdie and finished 7 under, tying for second with another previous winner in Adam Scott.
Jones stumbled out of the blocks, making a double bogey and triple bogey on his front side to go out in 4-over 39 before rallying with a 2-under 34 on the back to win.
''I just told him that was one of the best-fought wins I've ever seen, to come through what he did on 2, 9 and then that par he made on 12,'' Spieth told the Associated Press, referring to Jones par-saving hole-out from the bunker. ''Twelve was by far the tipping point in the round."
Spieth missed out on a bid to join Jack Nicklaus as the only Americans to ever win back-to-back Aussie Opens.
He also lost his course record at the Australian Golf Club. Rod Pampling fired a 61 Sunday, overtaking Spieth's closing 63 last year as the course's low mark.