Jones Tops Points for Title


GLENVIEW, Ill. -- Brendan Jones of Australia posted the lowest round of the day on Sunday with a 4-under 67 and that propelled him to victory at the LaSalle Bank Open. He finished at 16-under-par 268 and won by a stroke over D.A. Points.
Points, who has now blown the 54-hole lead in this event two years in a row, played well with a 2-under 69. He took second at minus-15, four shots better than Mike Springer, who came in third place at 11-under-par 273.
Swirling winds greeted the players on Sunday after optimum scoring conditions were at The Glen Club on Saturday. Only three holes played par or better and the scoring average was almost two shots over par.
Jones opened with a pair of birdies at his first two holes to get into a share of the lead with Points, who also birdied the first. Points fell off the pace with back-to-back bogies at three and four, while Jones played even-par golf until the eighth.
Jones sank an 8-footer for birdie at the eighth and added one from 15 feet at No. 9 to take a two-shot lead. Points birdied nine and chipped in from the side of the green at the 10th to get within one of the top spot.
The two traded pars until the short, par-4 15th. Points elected to hit 3-wood off the tee and left himself in a difficult spot. He could do no better than par while Jones rolled home a 4-footer for birdie to go ahead by two.
Points came back at the 16th when he hit an aggressive 5-iron left of the hole, bringing water into play. His ball stopped 5 feet from the hole and he converted the birdie try to trail by one with two holes to play.
Both parred 17 and Points was in fairway off the par-5 18th tee. Jones pulled one in the left rough and had to lay up with his second as a tree obstructed his backswing. Jones' third stopped 25 feet right of the hole after Points hit a spectacular fairway-metal over the flag and just off the green.
Points chipped his ball and took dead aim at the center of the cup. Unfortunately he hit the chip too hard and the ball rolled 15 feet past the stick. Jones lagged his up to tap-in range and watched as Points had a birdie putt to force a playoff.
Points' putt never broke toward the hole and it was win No. 1 for Jones on the Nationwide Tour.
'I played well in the wind. I feel like I can control my ball a lot better than most in the wind,' said Jones, who pocketed $117,000, the largest first- place check in the United States on the Nationwide Tour. 'The wind really helped me out there today.'
Jones, who won on the Japanese Tour earlier this season, has four top-four finishes on the Nationwide Tour this year, including three runner-ups.
'If you knock on the door often enough, it's finally going to open,' said Jones, who is qualified for both next week's U.S. Open and the British Open. 'You learn from mistakes and remember it for the next time.'
Doug LaBelle II (70) and Fran Quinn (72) shared fourth place at 10-under-par 274, followed by Brett Wetterich (72) and Bryce Molder (71), who shared sixth at minus-9.
Ryan Armour (69) and Mathew Goggin (74) tied for eighth at minus-8.
Third-round co-leader Mark Wilson struggled badly on Sunday. He shot a 6-over 77 and tied for 10th with Craig Lile (70), Nick Watney (71), Jeff Klauk (72), Scott Petersen (74) and 2002 U.S. Amateur champion Ricky Barnes (74). That group came in at 7-under-par 277.
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