Aussie Matt Jones will play The US Masters for just the second time after winning the Honda Classic in Florida

The first and only time Matt Jones played in the Masters in 2014 it was “all a bit of a blur” and he missed the cut.

But the 40-year-old is primed to make the most of his second trip to Augusta next month declaring he’s getting better as he gets older after a record-equalling five-shot win at the Honda Classic in Florida.

Jones was close to tears after making his final putt on the 18th hole to record his first PGA Tour win since 2014, a period which he said had “been a battle”.

The Sydneysider has notched two Australian Open wins in that time, but also lost his card in the US and had to fight his way back to the top.

Collecting just over $1.6 million for his victory was the cherry on top of a pile of sweetness which also includes a two-year playing exemption and that much-coveted invitation to Augusta National for next month’s Masters.

Aussie Matt Jones celebrates after winning The Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Picture: Jared C. Tilton/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“It means the world. Seven years between wins, it’s been a battle,” Jones said after his closing round 68 which secured the five-shot win, the equal-biggest margin in the tournament’s history.

“We’re working to keep our jobs every year and you have to perform well to be able to do that.

“So it’s probably been seven years since I won, but I’ve had some lean years in there, and to get back to the winner’s circle and to win this golf tournament was pretty emotional for me

“People don’t understand, but it’s just not that easy to win out here.

“It‘s phenomenal and hopefully it’s something I can build on for the rest of the year.”

The victory also marked the 33rd consecutive year an Australian has won on the PGA Tour, the longest winning streak for any country other than the US.

Jones started the tournament with a course-record equalling 61, and then lead throughout the weekend to record his second PGA Tour win.

He said he was the “calmest I’ve ever been” on a golf course after making a pre-event pledge to not get stressed.

It was a mindset which helped Jones produce a performance he said could be the start of a second coming.

The hard work comes to fruition. 👏

Following up the bogey with a birdie. 💪

The lead is back to 4 for @MattJonesGolf.

Once you know how to aim do you really need more than one look at the target before pulling the trigger?- it should be normal to play this way on tour but there are many excuses about why it isn’t

Jones said he had spoken to fellow 40-year-old Aussie Adam Scott, who has declared his next five years could be his best, and thinks his best is also yet to come.

“We’ve got five really good hard years ahead of us, where we think we can do something special and I think this sets me on a path where I could,” he said.

“I‘ve probably underachieved, in my opinion, for what I could have done.

“But I’ve got some time left. I feel like my game’s getting better as I get older. I’m hitting it better, I’m hitting it longer, so there’s nothing to say that that won’t happen.”

Jones said he would take two weeks off before heading to Augusta to do some extra preparation to ensure it goes better than last time.

“Monday was washed out as well. And then I had the par-3 tournament. I can‘t really remember the golf course. I can’t remember much about that week. It was all a blur,” he said.

“So I’m looking forward to getting some preparation on the course this year.”

Jones’ final day effort was all the more impressive given his playing partner, American JB Holmes, completely capitulated with a closing nine-over 79.

Adam Scott was the next best Aussie, finishing tied for 14th, while Cameron Davis finished tied for 33rd after a Sunday round of three-over 73.

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