Matt Jones winner’s press conference, 2019 Emirates Australian Open
KATHIE SHEARER: Just terrific to see you here again. Were you as relaxed as we saw you walking along, holding your children’s hands. Was it just like a duck where you were going crazy underwater and calm on top or did you feel calm all day?
MATT JONES: I was very calm all week, actually. I was much more nervous in ’15 when I won. I was very relaxed and calm this week, all week and today I was unbelievably calm. I purpose myself in a couple of awkward situations, but my short game, which I do rely on a lot, saved me and I was able to get it done.
KATHIE SHEARER: When did you feel the most pressure?
MATT JONES: Probably the last hole. I was under an assumption that Louis was on a different score, so I kind of let my guard down and relaxed a little, and then when I saw what the score was, that chip became a little tougher, but I was able to get up and down.
KATHIE SHEARER: Great to have your family along this week.
MATT JONES: It is. I’ve got a lot of friends and family out there and to have my kids, my seven year old and five year old will understand a little more. I don’t think they understood the first time, but they will this time. It’s great to have them here. I love travelling with them. I wish they could travel every week.
Q. Can you talk us through your thinking process out of that bunker on the last? Did you think about going up 10 at all? Was that an option?
MATT JONES: It was, but the wind was so hard off the right that I thought that it could either go in the rough or it could hit a person, it could hit a person on the head, go in a hazard, it could hit a footpath and go left. It was a very easy shot. I was just hitting it out there to hit a 9-iron on the green and it caught a little pine cone and just dropped straight down. I actually didn’t even see the tree limb, it was not even in play. Probably like the same as the 9th hole that I hit in the water in 2015 when I hit in the water. But it ended up all right. It would have been better if it was on grass, so I had to play a little safer when I was playing out of the pine needles, but it was all right.
Q. Why were you under the assumption you needed a 6 and can you talk us through how the whole thing played out?
MATT JONES: I was under the assumption that it was at worst, I had a two-shot lead, so I wasn’t playing for the green on my third shot, I was happy to hit it in the bunker, which I’m happy I didn’t, because that bunker shot wouldn’t have been as comfortable, but then I realised what I had to do and the chip wasn’t that difficult. It was landing down green, so I could just get it over the bunker and let it release a little. It was a pretty easy putt. I made it more difficult than it had to be, but it went in.
Q. What does it do for your confidence going into the Christmas break, but also going into 2020, a new decade, knowing that you’re at least into one of the Majors?
MATT JONES: It’s fantastic. I’ve had a good start to the year in the US. Something like this has been coming and it’s very special when it’s your national Open and to do it two times in a row is something that’s pretty unbelievable right now. But I’m going to build on this. If I can play as calm on the US Tour as I did these four days, I think I’ll have a very good year.
Q. You’ve now secured your place in Australian golfing history, what does it actually mean to you to have won this second Open in your backyard?
MATT JONES: I probably haven’t really had a chance to think about it. I have to go through it to look how many people have won it multiple times. Of course I know there’s Norman and there are many others.
Q. You were the 19th.
MATT JONES: I was the 19th. But it’s a great honour to be able to put my name on that trophy with all those champions and there are multiple Major champions on there. To be on the trophy with Jack and Gary and Greg and Adam, Rory, Jordan; to be able to do it twice is very special and something that I’ll be able to look back on later in life and be very proud of.
Q. You said you were a lot calmer than you were four years ago, is that just age? Why?
MATT JONES: Probably age, a lot more experience on Tour. Since I won, I’ve had a lean three years of golf on Tour and playing on limited starts knowing you have to perform on those starts can toughen you up and it probably helped me today, being able to perform and knowing that I had to perform, which I’m used to doing on Tour and I was happy to do it.
Q. Is there any danger you could hit a putt for the Australian Open in the middle on the 18th green?
MATT JONES: No, I like to make it interesting. It couldn’t have been an easier putt, this one. The first one I didn’t really know the read. This one you could hit it as firm as I wanted, I could spin the right edge and it would have gone in, but I thought I’d just hit it pretty soft and just trickle in the left side.
Q. We kind of touched on it yesterday, but what is it about this golf course that fits your eye?
MATT JONES: When I get through certain holes, I’m pretty comfortable on 1, when I get through 4, 4 is a very tough, uncomfortable hole for me, especially this week in this wind. When I get through 4, I’m pretty good. I’m comfortable from then through the whole golf course. I drove it unbelievably well this week for the most part, which makes this golf course much easier, to be able to hit the fairways, or if I did miss it, not every time, but most times, I did miss it in the right side, where I could get access to the green or somewhere up near the green where I can rely on my short game.
Q. The putt at 17, how big was that and can you talk us through that putt? Were you just trying to lag it down there?
MATT JONES: No, I was actually trying to make that, because I knew it wasn’t as fast as it looked and I knew it was much straighter than it was, than it looked too. I’ve hit that putt a fair few times and I wanted to have as many shots lead as I could. I wasn’t in fear of three putting that, I was just trying to make a good putt and it went in.
Q. Can you remember what you were doing in 1993 when Greg Norman won at Royal St George’s?
MATT JONES: No, I really can’t. I’m sure I was watching it, because I was up every morning.
Q. Does that make it all a bit special, that Australia has got a record of success at that course?
MATT JONES: Yes, from what I remember, you’ve got to hit a lot of good tee shots and good drivers on that golf course too and that’s one of the strengths of my game now, is my driving and Greg was one of the best, if not the best of all time. If I can continue like that, I’ll look forward to that Tournament.
Q. One other question if I can, what did you pour into that jug when you won it four years ago and what’s going to go in it this time?
MATT JONES: Probably beer. Honestly, I’m not a big drinker and I do not look forward to hangovers, especially with three kids. We’ll have a few tonight somewhere. I’ll probably start with beer. It used to be Jack and coke, but if they make a good margherita, I’d love that.
Q. Have you got your eyes on the Olympics?
MATT JONES: Yeah, I passed up on it the last Olympics. I was trying to keep my US Tour card and that was probably the biggest regret I have in golf, is not going to play. In hindsight, thinking about it more, I’d love to be able to go and play the Olympics.
Q. Do you alter your schedule to try and push if you’re getting closer and closer?
MATT JONES: I would.
KATHIE SHEARER: Thank you very much indeed.