Matt Jones returns after missing tournament last year

After having to make the gut-wrenching decision to miss defending his Australian Open title last year, 2015 champion Matt Jones will return for this year’s event with one thought on his mind to win it again.

Jones will return to The Australian Golf Club, the scene of the biggest win of his career, to attempt to wrestle the Stonehaven Cup back from defending champion Jordan Spieth at the tournament starting on November 23.

Jones started the final round in 47th place on the overall standings but shot a final round 67 to jump to 17th, with the top 25 players earning cards to play on the main tour next season.

Jones will be one of the main draws in Sydney alongside Spieth and 2015 PGA Champion Jason Day and told the Leader from the US he was excited to return home for his national open.

It was around that time Jones joined The Australian and his intimate knowledge of the famed Rosebery layout helped him put together a courageous final round two years ago to hold off a charging Spieth and 2013 US Masters champion Adam Scott to fight back to win by one shot after almost blowing a three-stroke lead.

Winning the Australian Open at your home course in front of so many family and friends was an amazing feeling and something I often reflect on,” Jones said.

“You don’t get to defend a title very often so to skip defending your national open was a very tough decision.

Jones went straight from Florida to California for the opening event of the 2017-18 US PGA Tour season at the weekend, teeing up at the Safeway Open in Napa where he made the cut, finishing in a tie for 43rd at three under.