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Jones Headed Back To PGA Tour

(Photo: Bruce Young)
Sydney’s Matt Jones has fired under extreme final round pressure at the Web.com Tour Championship to earn one of 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018 season.

Jones was T5 at the Atlantic Beach Country Club to move 30 places up the secondary Tour’s Finals money list to 17th and improve his status for next year.

The 2015 Australian Open champion posted rounds of 65-68-67-67 to be 17-under and seven behind tournament winner Jonathan Byrd.

Byrd claimed the title by four shots from fast finishing fellow American Shawn Stefani and 36-hole leader Sam Saunders.

Jones was the only Australian to graduate to the main Tour via this year’s Finals series, Victorian Cameron Percy agonisingly close but ultimately coming up just shy.

Percy entered the week in 25th place on the money list and after three good rounds was projected to finish in the top 25.

However, birdies at his final two holes for a 2-under 69 was not enough to hold his position and he slipped to 29th.

Percy will still have limited access to the Tour in 2018, however, as he finished between 126-150 on the FedEx Cup this season.

Jones was in a more precarious position heading to next season as he finished outside the top 150 in the FedEx Cup this year and would have received few starts next season.

But after missing the cut in each of the first two Finals events he came alive with a T20 finish at last week’s DAP Championship then produced some brilliant golf this week to begin the long road back to being a full PGA Tour member.

Jones is a one-time winner on golf’s richest circuit but lost full playing rights at the end of 2016 when he finished 126th in the FedEx Cup, one place shy of keeping his card.

Enduring the opposite emotions to Jones in the wake of the 2017 season will be Brett Drewitt who played the Finals events after failing to retain his PGA Tour card in his rookie year.

A poor third round at last week’s event was costly and he suffered the same fate this week where a Saturday 77 cost him his chance to return to the Tour.

Projected inside the top 25 earners through two rounds the stumble dropped him too far down the leaderboard to recover and despite an impressive fightback with a Sunday 65 he ended outside the top 40 on the money list.

Rhein Gibson, the last of the Australians to make the cut in Florida, withdrew after the third round for unknown reasons though was too far down the leaderboard, and the Finals money list, to advance his cause Sunday.

SIGNATURE HOLES - 18TH AT CAMPBELLTOWN GOLF CLUB:

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