The Golf Gods Have Long Memories
In September’s Fed Ex Cup Playoffs on the PGA Tour Matt Jones faced a 12 foot birdie putt on the final hole of the BMW championship that would have advanced him to the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Making the Fed Ex finale and securing a top 30 finish for the year would have locked up his place in the Masters field for 2014. Jones of course missed the putt, missed the Tour Championship, and was therefore still not in next week’s Augusta field when he woke up on Sunday morning. Thanks to clutch shots and Matt Kuchar’s collapse, Jones’ plans for the next 7 days have now change drastically.
Jones trailed Matt Kuchar by six shots to start the final round in Houston. I’m not sure he thought he could win and punch his ticket to Augusta until after he signed his scorecard when his round was complete. Playing in a steady rain all day, Kuchar didn’t make any big mistakes through 17 holes and seemed poised to make the field catch him if they wanted to beat him to capture the Shell Houston Open. Kuchar’s bogey at the 16th left the door for victory barely cracked open, but only Jones had a chance to stick his foot in and steal the win. Coming off a bogey himself at his 71st hole, Jones needed a minor miracle at 18 to even have a chance at a playoff. The 18th is a brutal par 4 of nearly 500 yards that routinely ranks as one of the toughest closing holes on tour each year. Jones got the miracle he needed when he made a 45 foot bomb for birdie to card a final round 66 in the wet/sloppy conditions.
Jones hard fought birdie meant Kuchar was now standing in the fairway at the home hole with a one shot lead. He had a hybrid in his hands that he has made millions with, its a money club that he typically hits well. Kuchar doesn’t make big mistakes, typically, so anyone expecting tragedy from Matt simply doesn’t know how he operates. But instead of hitting his money club to the middle of the green MK pulled it into the hazard. After his drop he successfully got up and down from 80 yards to force a playoff with Jones.
Jones wild ride had just begun. He found the bunker off the tee on the first playoff hole while Kuchar hit his tee shot in the fairway and faced a similar shot to what he had played 20 minutes earlier that found the hazard. Kuchar over compensated for his prior miss by finding the right bunker. Jones advanced the ball from the bunker to a favorable location short of the green, then he closed his first victory in style.
Wow. Just wow. I don’t think anyone saw this coming. The trophy engraver probably already had K-U-C in place on the hardware and was forced to stop after Jones made his bomb at 18 in regulation. To back that up with a hole out in the playoff is beyond ridiculous, but hey, the golf gods owed him one. Now Jones is heading to the Masters.
Jones victory continues a strange trend on tour for 2013-2014. Yes, he’s another less-than-well-known champion. That is becoming commonplace in recent weeks. On top of that, every winner for the current season but 4 have been Americans. The four non-American wins all come from Aussies like Jones. Remember that factoid when you double down on your Masters picks later this week.
Yeah, you know the song……and if you’re an avid reader of SFG you also already know about Matt Jones’ wife, Melissa Weber Jones.
I was hoping NBC would hang on long enough to show us a glimpse of Melissa soaking wet from being out in the rain all day, but we weren’t that lucky. Instead we’ll just have to work with what the internet has already provided us. The link above has a gallery of Mrs. Jones, but I’ll go ahead and save you the trouble of finding more pics by providing them below. Fucking perverts. You need help.
Great cleav shot there.
Ignore the kid, focus on the milk makers.
For you prego freaks.
Need I remind you that she was Miss Idaho 2009? Ok now, take a deep breath….can we move on?
Sergio again played well in an event until the weekend started. Something in his game seems to change once the field is cut and Sergio realizes he’s in contention again. The guy’s putting stats are pretty good for the year, but I’d like to see how his Thursday/Friday numbers compare to his Saturday/Sunday stats. Another high finish means he’ll be a popular pick at the Masters. If this were a horse race I’d bet on him to show, but he can’t win can he?
Kuchar failed miserably down the stretch at Houston. That’s two weeks in a row that he’s played in the final group, had a lead at some point with 9 holes or less to play, and failed to get a trophy. That might make him more dangerous at the Masters than if he had won. The golly-gee-shucks attitude of Kuchar is what we see on the outside, but he’s a killer on the inside. He bounced back from a shitty final round at the Texas Open to do everything but win the following week in Houston. It will be hard for me to not pick Matty.
Rory awoke from his semi slumber to post a 65 on Sunday in Houston and get out of dodge and to Augusta before Kooch and Jones started their playoff. That low round will make him a heavy Masters favorite as well, but I’ve got another Euro on my radar that is practically going unnoticed.
Yeah, that guy. He didn’t do anything to make you notice him in Houston, but his T17 is part of an upward trend in Lee’s game over the last few weeks. At Doral his story was that he’d been working on finding his game since dumping swing coach Sean Foley. Now he’s starting to show signs of life just when everyone seemingly has forgotten about him. Remember this nugget as you step into the Vegas sports books to place your bets: Lee is one of two players in the Masters field this year that has finished in the top 15 each of the last four years.
Three more mother fucking days is all we have left to muddle through until the joy of the Masters is upon us. I can almost taste the pimento cheese sandwiches. Like last year SFG will be upping the ante as much as possible with posts and content for the week. Look for daily updates and hopefully a live chat for either Friday or Saturday, and even Sunday if there is interest.
So make your picks, place your bets, and start your pools. The greatest week in golf starts now.