2014 Shell Houston Open results: Matt Jones shocks Matt Kuchar with hole-out chip to win playoff

Scott Halleran

Another Aussie gets his first win and first Masters invite in the most dramatic finish of the PGA Tour season so far.

Matt Jones, who started Sunday six shots back of leader Matt Kuchar, earned a last minute Masters berth by winning the Shell Houston Open with a dramatic hole-out chip shot on the first playoff hole.

Jones birdied the 18th with an amazing 46-foot putt in regulation just to force extra holes, then drained a wedge shot from the front of the green to end it on the first playoff hole. He's now the third Aussie in the past month to earn a late Masters berth by winning a PGA Tour event, joining John Senden and Steven Bowditch.

As he did all day, Kuchar had an advantage in the playoff, putting his drive in the middle of the fairway while Jones was in a bunker down the left side. The Aussie advanced his ball out of the sand, but had almost no shot of getting on green at the difficult par-4 in two. With his ball well short of the green, he decided to simply pop it up and over a trap and roll it in for his first ever PGA Tour win and first ever Masters invite. Video of the shot, via PGATour.com:

Jones was unrelenting in his Sunday chase of Kuchar, even on the last regulation hole when it appeared all hope was lost. From just inside 50 feet on the 18th green, the 33-year-old Aussie was down two shots and had a must-make birdie putt to even think about a playoff. With the pressure on, he put it in the center of the cup to at least force Kuchar to think about things on his final hole. It was an amazing putt given the circumstances:

That putt would end up getting him in the playoff, with Kuchar collapsing and rinsing one into the water on the 18th a few minutes later.

For most of the day, and the weekend, it looked like Kuchar, who was already one of the trendy favorites to win the Masters, would roll into Augusta off his seventh PGA Tour victory. He has been streaking for some time, playing in the final Sunday pairing two straight weeks in Texas.

Kuchar had a four-shot lead to start the day, and the question didn't seem to be if he would win, but by how much. He got a little loose in his final round, however, and finally gave away the lead on his last hole of the day. For much of the round, he enjoyed a comfortable multi-shot margin over Jones, and then two bogeys in his last three holes erased the lead. Standing in the middle of the 18th fairway, he just needed a par to lock it up in regulation but the lanky righty, who has one of the flatter swings in the game, inexplicably pulled his hybrid into the lake up on the left side of the green. All of a sudden, he was out of cruise control and fighting to get up-and-down to force a playoff. He managed to force the extra hole, but a second poor approach and Jones' chip-in shocked him out of the win.

Kuchar has been one of America's most consistent players for several years now, stacking cash with multiple wins and constant top 10 finishes. He's got three wins in the last three years, and is in the hunt almost every week he tees it up. But he has yet to get that first major, a title that many presumed the Georgia Tech product would first get at Augusta. The win would have added to the peaking trend heading to a place where he can often shoot in the red just by showing up. But those two approach shots on 18 -- the first pulled left into the water, and the second pushed right into the bunker -- might jolt the progression a bit.

The Shell Houston Open draws so many players in the Masters field because the course and tournament try to create a layout as similar as possible to Augusta. There's relatively no rough, and the areas around the greens are shaved down to put a premium on the kind of chipping and putting needed for the season's first major. There were 46 players with Masters invites who decided to tee it up one week before a major, an unusually large number. And most of those tops guys -- Kuchar, Sergio Garcia, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy -- all rose to the top of the leaderboard throughout the four-day stay in Houston.

Aside from Jones, who had nine birdies on Sunday, the most impressive play of the day came from McIlroy, who matched the low round of the week with a 65. McIlroy was perfect tee-to-green and got his putter rolling in his final Masters tune-up round. He's now the favorite at Augusta with Tiger Woods unable to go, and a bogey-free round on top of the much-improved form this year should make him a force at the Masters.

While it's now officially Masters week, the Shell Houston Open, given the depth of the field and the late Sunday drama from Jones, was a pretty awesome lead-in to the first major of the season. Here are your final results:

Place Player Score Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
1
Matt Jones
-15 68 68 71 66
2
Matt Kuchar
-15 66 67 68 72
3
Sergio Garcia
-13 67 65 73 70
4
Cameron Tringale
-12 68 68 69 71
5
Shawn Stefani
-10 67 69 73 69
6
Rickie Fowler
-9 70 70 68 71
T7
Rory McIlroy
-8 70 71 74 65
T7
Russell Henley
-8 73 69 72 66
T7
Brice Garnett
-8 68 71 72 69
T7
Ryan Palmer
-8 70 68 73 69
T7
Retief Goosen
-8 68 71 71 70
T12
Erik Compton
-7 66 73 73 69
T12
Chris Stroud
-7 68 72 71 70
T12
Phil Mickelson
-7 68 70 72 71
T12
J.B. Holmes
-7 66 73 71 71
T12
Ben Curtis
-7 67 70 71 73
T17
Lee Westwood
-6 70 72 71 69
T17
Martin Flores
-6 68 72 72 70
T19
Jonathan Byrd
-5 68 74 73 68
T19
Freddie Jacobson
-5 68 72 74 69
T19
Graham DeLaet
-5 70 71 72 70
T19
Jason Gore
-5 67 71 74 71
T19
Charl Schwartzel
-5 67 75 70 71
T24
Nicholas Thompson
-4 71 69 74 70
T24
Steve Stricker
-4 68 69 76 71
T24
Jimmy Walker
-4 71 65 77 71
T24
Michael Putnam
-4 68 72 73 71
T24
Jim Renner
-4 66 72 74 72
T24
Luke Donald
-4 71 71 71 71
T24
Andres Romero
-4 72 69 70 73
T31
Carl Pettersson
-3 69 74 72 70
T31
Ryo Ishikawa
-3 69 74 71 71
T31
Hunter Mahan
-3 69 72 71 73
T31
Kevin Chappell
-3 71 72 76 66
T31
Jon Curran
-3 69 72 69 75
36
James Hahn
-2 71 72 73 70
T37
Bill Haas
-1 65 74 76 72
T37
Jeff Overton
-1 73 69 74 71
T37
John Huh
-1 71 71 72 73
T37
Brendon de Jonge
-1 71 73 72 71
T37
David Toms
-1 71 71 75 70
T37
Charley Hoffman
-1 65 76 78 68
T43
Justin Hicks
E 67 73 74 74
T43
Jeff Maggert
E 69 73 74 72
T43
Angel Cabrera
E 68 73 75 72
T43
Brendon Todd
E 69 74 73 72
T43
Keegan Bradley
E 66 77 73 72
T43
Ben Crane
E 70 74 72 72
T43
Camilo Villegas
E 67 73 73 75
T43
Ricky Barnes
E 70 73 74 71
T43
Brian Gay
E 71 70 71 76
T43
Ernie Els
E 68 76 74 70
T43
Hudson Swafford
E 70 74 76 68
T54
John Merrick
1 74 68 75 72
T54
Kyle Stanley
1 69 74 74 72
T54
Henrik Stenson
1 71 72 76 70
T54
John Mallinger
1 72 72 75 70
T58
Brian Harman
2 70 71 74 75
T58
Stewart Cink
2 67 75 74 74
T58
Harrison Frazar
2 71 71 76 72
T61
Webb Simpson
3 68 73 73 77
T61
Robert Garrigus
3 74 69 73 75
T61
Michael Thompson
3 67 73 77 74
T61
Davis Love III
3 68 73 78 72
T65
John Rollins
4 68 76 72 76
T65
Chris Kirk
4 68 74 75 75
T65
Justin Leonard
4 70 71 81 70
68
Kevin Kisner
5 71 70 81 71
T69
Greg Chalmers
6 69 74 75 76
T69
Tommy Gainey
6 71 72 77 74
71
Tyrone Van Aswegen
7 71 73 74 77
T72
Jhonnattan Vegas
8 67 75 76 78
T72
J.J. Henry
8 72 71 78 75
T74
Bubba Dickerson
9 74 70 74 79
T74
Stephen Ames
9 72 71 78 76
76
Roberto Castro
11 71 72 83 73

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.