Brendan Jones has overcome a sluggish start to his final round to card a two under 70 and claim his 14th Japan Tour title, the ANA Open, by a single stroke.
The 41-year-old, from Canberra, led by two strokes through 54-holes but bogies at the 2nd and 6th holes of the Sapporo Golf Club’s Wattsu course.
But he regained those dropped shots with birdies at the 7th and 9th holes to grab a share of the lead with Japan’s Yuta Ikeda, who was playing in the group ahead. Defending champion Ryo Ishikawa was also in the mix, just a few shots adrift of the lead.
Jones played mistake-free golf on the back nine, posting birdies at the par-5s – the 12th and 17th holes – to maintain his spot at the top of the leaderboard alongside Ikeda.
When Ikeda bogied his final hole, Jones only needed to par to secure the victory – his first since the Japan Tour’s Mizuno Open in 2013, which was just months before the former Australian Amateur Champion underwent major wrist surgery.
Jones’ closing 70 saw him reach 18 under and finish one stroke clear of Ikeda (67), with Ishikawa (68) a further shot back third. The next best Australian was NSW’s Won Joon Lee (72), who tied for 19th at nine under.
Jones collected nearly A$290,000 for the win and elevates him to 13th on the All-Time Japan Tour money list with earnings in excess of A$11.9 milion.