Australia's Brendan Jones wins New Zealand Open by 3 shots

QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (AP) — Australian veteran Brendan Jones has closed with a five-under 66 to win the New Zealand Golf Open Sunday by two shots.

Jones celebrated his 48th birthday on Friday by just sneaking into the weekend on the cut line of 4-under.

A bogey-free 62 left him tied for fourth place, three shots off the lead after the third round and he posted another low round Sunday to become the ninth Australian to win the New Zealand tournament in its last 10 editions.

“This is just incredible,” Jones said. “I’ve been supporting this event for many, many years and I’ve said to myself as long as my bum points to the ground I’ll never win it.

“I don’t know what happened but I’ve won it and I played some pretty awesome golf for an old guy anyway. It’s a dream come true.”

At one point in the final round Sunday 11 golfers were separated by a stroke. Jones forged ahead with birdies at 14 and 15, then took advantage of a lucky bounce to roll in his sixth birdie of the day on 17.

“I looked at the leaderboard on the last green and I thought I could six-putt,” Jones said. “I didn’t want to six-putt, but I knew I had a few in the pocket.”

Jones finished three clear of a group of four players tied in second place. New Zealander Ben Campell finished with a 66, Japan’s Tomoyo Ikemura with a 68, Australian John Lyras with a 64 and Jaewoong Eom with 67.


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