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Jones holds off Griffin to win 15th Japan Tour title

Jones wins Token Homemate Cup for second occasion (file) (Photo: Japan Tour)
Australia’s Brendan Jones has held off a strong finish from fellow Australian Matthew Griffin to win his 15th title on the Japan Golf Tour and further elevate his status as the highest prize-money earning foreigner in the history of the Japan Tour.

Jones won the opening event of the 2019 Japan Tour's domestic season, the Token Homemate Cup, in Nagoya today by one shot over Griffin who, after two early bogeys, reeled off eight birdies in his last twelve holes to all but catch Jones.

Jones was out in the group ahead of Griffin in today’s final round and made a spectacular start with two birdies and an eagle in his opening six holes but he needed to as yet another Australian Won Joon Lee birdied four of his first five holes to take the lead himself briefly.

Jones looked to take control of the tournament when he birdied three holes early in his back nine and established what appeared to be a winning break but Griffin, who has yet to win in Japan, stormed home with a back nine of 30 including birdies at four of his last five holes.

It would not be enough to catch Jones, however, who would go on to win this event for the second occasion and his 15th title in Japan in his 17th season on that tour.

Jones is the 10th highest money earner on the Japan Tour and the leading foreigner by some seven places over Korean Kim Kyung Tae who has 13 wins to his credit in Japan.

"Yesterday, on my last 2 holes I made bogey," said Jones. "I was very disappointed the way I finished my 3rd round. But I remembered back in 2012 when I last won, I had fantastic final round. So, I thought if I could get off to a great start today, I could do that again.

"When we turn up to play at Token, the tournament at the start of the year, everybody has the ambition to win the tournament. And, to be standing here again, having won 7 years ago is an amazing feeling.

"I still feel my game is good enough, and it showed this week. I am just so happy. I am very very happy."

Griffin recorded his best result in Japan by finishing in outright second place, one shot ahead of joint third-round leader Koumei Oda.

Jones wins the equivalent of A$310,000 while Griffin secured a cheque for $155,000.

Won Joon Lee eventually finished in 7th position after two late bogeys proved very costly.

Japan Tour debutante and rookie NSW professional, Dylan Perry, who is based on the Gold Coast, finished 8th.

David Bransdon was 13th while New Zealander Michael Hendry and Brad Kennedy were 18th.

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