Not even the feared “Bear Trap” towards the end of the round could bring the two-time Australian Open champion unstuck, Jones allowing himself a fist pump when his tee shot at the par-3 17th safely found the green with a five-shot advantage.

Occupying a spot near the top of the leaderboard since rattling off a course-record nine-under 61 in the opening round, Jones shot 68 on Sunday as his nearest rivals faltered, two closing pars maintaining his five-shot lead until the end.

With his first win in the US since chipping in to defeat Matt Kuchar in a playoff at the 2014 Shell Houston Open, Jones climbed back inside the top-50 in the world and booked his place at Augusta National in three weeks’ time courtesy of a win set up by a long-distance session with his coach.

“I told my coach and I told my friends, something’s coming, it’s getting closer,” said Jones, who missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and was tied for 55th at The Players Championship last week.

“I worked on the range through FaceTime with my coach back in Australia and we just started to get a feel for things. Started to get the body and the club working together and it worked all week.

“I told a friend earlier that I like my chances this week.

“Seven years between wins, it’s been a battle. I’ve had ups, I’ve had downs, but to win a second time on this golf course in these conditions that we faced all week is, it’s phenomenal and hopefully it’s something I can build on for the rest of the year.”

After turning 40 during the Tour’s COVID-19 break, Jones spoke of the frank conversations he had shared with his family about how much longer he would continue playing at the highest level.

After a chat with Adam Scott and a second PGA Tour title to his name, Jones now believes his most productive years on Tour are still ahead of him.

“I’ve spoken to Adam Scott about this. We’ve got five really good hard years ahead of us, where we think we can do something special and I think this sets me on a path where I could." – Matt Jones

“I’ve spoken to Adam Scott about this. We’ve got five really good hard years ahead of us, where we think we can do something special and I think this sets me on a path where I could,” said Jones, the Australian Open champion of 2015 and 2019.

“I’ve probably under-achieved, in my opinion, for what I could have done. But I’ve got some time left.

“I feel like my game’s getting better as I get older. I’m hitting it better, I’m hitting it longer, so there’s nothing to say that that won’t happen.”

Spending Saturday night thinking about a return to Augusta, a birdie putt from six metres at the opening hole settled the nerves and Jones followed it up with another at the par-5 3rd, two-putting from 23 metres to keep the chasing pack at bay.

A one-shot buffer suddenly became four when Jones’s nearest challenger Aaron Wise four-putted the 10th hole from eight metres and his own slight stumble at 11 was recovered quickly with a birdie at the next hole.

He poured another in at 13 to extend his lead to five strokes and a wonderful approach to 16 and birdie putt from four metres ensured he would extend the record of Australians winning on the PGA Tour to 33 years in succession.

There was another strong Aussie performance on the Korn Ferry Tour where New South Welshman Harrison Endycott turned a spot on the alternates’ list into a top-five finish at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open.

Endycott’s place in the field was only confirmed on Tuesday following the withdrawal of Ryan Brehm and he took full advantage.

“I was like the 14th alternate last (tournament), so it’s crazy how it can change,” said Endycott after earning a share of the lead with an opening round of four-under 67.

“I’m very grateful that I’m actually playing this week and trying to make the most of it.

“It’s a little bit of a question mark going in each week. Any week out here, a big week is crucial and it can change your life.

“It’s hard because you don’t know what people are thinking or feeling. You have to be optimistic. You can’t think you’re not in and that’s why I travelled here; I have to prepare like I am in.”

Endycott finished fifth at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open on the Korn Ferry Tour. PHOTO: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.

Like Endycott, Scott Hend found himself near the top of the leaderboard at the European Tour’s Magical Kenya Open at Karen Country Club in Nairobi.

A second round of 64 followed by a third round of three-under 68 put the Queenslander just two off the lead entering the final round, but two bogeys on the front nine and a double-bogey seven on the par-5 12th pushed Hend back into a tie for 16th.

PGA Tour

The Honda Classic
PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

1          Matt Jones        61-70-69-68—268         US$1.26m
T13      Adam Scott       69-67-72-68—276         $125,417
T33      Cameron Davis  66-71-70-73—280         $39,900
T46      Lucas Herbert   70-69-70-73—282         $19,070
MC       Cameron Percy 69-74—143
MC       Rhein Gibson    74-70—144

European Tour

Magical Kenya Open
Karen Country Club, Nairobi, Kenya
Won by Justin Harding at 21 under

T16      Scott Hend        67-64-68-73—272         €11,497
MC       Maverick Antcliff           74-70—144

Korn Ferry Tour

Chitimacha Louisiana Open
Le Triomphe G&CC, Broussard, Louisiana
Won by Roberto Diaz at 18 under

5          Harrison Endycott         67-70-68-65—270         US$22,800
T23      Aaron Baddeley 71-72-67-66—276         $5,675
T63      Curtis Luck        72-72-70-70—284         $2,412
T66      Jamie Arnold     73-69-75-68—285         $2,376
MC       Brett Drewitt    76-71—147
MC       Robert Allenby  73-76—149
MC       Mark Hensby    77-72—149
MC       Ryan Ruffels      73-79—152

Symetra Tour

Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic
Mesa, Arizona
Won by Ruixin Liu in playoff with Rose Zhang (-17)

T35      Robyn Choi       68-70-72-75—285