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Monday, April 7, 2014

The Limerick Summary: 2014 Shell Houston Open

Winner: Matt Jones

Around the wider world of golf: Although I thought her reckless style might cause problems in the final round, Lexi Thompson got her first major at the LPGA's Kraft Nabisco Championship; Marco Crespi won the ET's NH Collection Open; Daniel Mazziotta won the Mundo Maya Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; and Sun-Ju Ahn won the JLPGA's Yamaha Ladies. (The Constructivist has the details.) And of course, Sunday was the finals of the first annual Drive, Chip & Putt Competition at Augusta. You can read about all the winners in this Golfweek article.

Matt Jones is a bit excited

You probably won't be surprised to learn that Matt won the Shell Houston Open.

You might be surprised to find out that it was Aussie Matt Jones, not tournament leader Matt Kuchar. Kuch continued his recent trend of leading tournaments right up till the end and then losing them -- not unlike other recent big name players of note.

But to say it was all about the Kuchar water ball at 18 would be doing a huge disservice to Matt Jones. Jones started his round 6 shots back and methodically ran Kuchar down. Amazingly enough, he did it even after making an unexpected bogey on the 17th when his ball ran all the way through the wet fairway and rough into a hazard. It was going to take something incredible after that.

So all he did was sink a 46-foot putt for birdie on 18 -- good enough to force a playoff after Kuch scrambled for bogey there -- and followed it with an equally long chip over a greenside bunker for a second miracle birdie. Shades of Greg Norman!!! (Well, sort of. I'm sure Kuch felt pretty down under after it was over.)

Kuchar will surely be kicking himself in Augusta this week. For the second time in as many weeks, Kuch has lost a tournament when all he needed was a 1-under round to take it. Will that affect his chances at Augusta? We'll have to wait and see.

But Matt Jones has no such problem. He makes his first trip to the Masters on the wings of victory, along with 7 other Aussies. (It would appear that Australia has decided that more entrants improve their chances of keeping the green jacket. Smart folks, those Aussies.) And to give him some reading material for his flight, here's a little Limerick Summary just for Matt -- Jones, that is:
On a tough track where Matt battled Matt,
It was Jones beating Kuchar. Now THAT
Wasn’t what we expected—
But it just redirected
This Jones to that other Jones’ track.
The photo came from the tournament wrap-up page at PGATOUR.com.

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