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April 7, 2014

Matt Jones


THE MODERATOR:¬† Ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to welcome Matt Jones to the interview room as one of a record 24 first‑time Masters participants.¬† Matt is very fresh off his first career PGA TOUR victory at the Shell Houston Open this past Sunday after holing two incredible shots, including a dramatic chip shot on the first playoff hole.
Matt had a strong finish to the 2013 season with Top‑10s at the Wyndham Championship and BMW Championship, and eventually finished 32nd on the final FedExCup standings.
Matt, welcome to Augusta National.  Would you please comment on what your emotions have been like the last 24 hours?  (Laughter).
MATT JONES:¬† I don't even know if I can remember. ¬†It's been a whirlwind.¬† Finished, chipped in, which I can remember actually, which is a good thing to remember.¬† But then I had to go do all the media and all the family and friends and talking to them.¬† It's just been amazing trying to get in touch with everyone and get back to everyone from all the texts and phone calls I've had and e‑mails, and now organizing family and friends coming to town.¬† It's going to be a great experience for the first time here.

Q.  After the elation of making your shot and then seeing Matt miss, how long after that do you realize you would be coming here, did the thought pop in?
MATT JONES:  When I was in a playoff, you know what you're playing for when you come here.  I'm playing for my first TOUR win and what comes with that is a big bonus to come here, which is amazing.  Once that went in and I knew where Matt was in the bunker, I knew my chances were pretty good, but you can never expect to win until it's finally official.
Once that happened, I was pretty emotional.  I held back some tears when Maltbie did the interview with me, so happy I did that, and that was good.

Q.  I read you've got a new addition to the family, so congratulations on that.  Are they able to come and experience and enjoy this week with you?
MATT JONES:  They are.  They are flying in tomorrow night from Scottsdale, so I'm looking forward to having my wife, my two daughters, mom and dad, and my coach are flying over from Australia tomorrow and then a lot of other people are coming, as well.

Q.  If you can just run us through the process of getting here last night, and did you get anything done this morning, because it rained obviously at 10:00 a.m.
MATT JONES:  I just got out here before I had to come in here.  I was trying to treat it like another golf tournament with my normal schedule.  Monday is normally a day off for me, so I was just having a day off.  I'm going to get out there and play 18 or nine holes tomorrow, see how I feel.  I'm pretty tired.  Didn't get a lot of sleep and I think I still have a bit of adrenaline going.  It was a great day.

Q.  How does one find housing here the night before?  And you're the fourth Australian winner on the TOUR since February; how do you explain that?
MATT JONES:  Housing was my agent.  As soon as I won, I think he got onto speaking to people here regarding housing and they did a great job and found me a house big enough to support the clan that's coming with me.
And for the second question, I would say, there's a lot of good golfers everywhere in the world, and just it's been lucky enough to be Australia's turn in the last six months or whatever it's been.  Since Adam won, Australia's been pretty abuzz with golf.  What he did for the Australian golf community is pretty great.  I think a lot of the Australian golfers fed off that.

Q.  Back to your family, what was your mom and dad's reaction when you finally did manage to speak to them?
MATT JONES:  My mom was crying and drinking champagne.  It's been a long time coming for them.  They have been through a lot (laughter).

Q.  You're trying to treat it like a normal tournament, as you said, but you get to drive down Magnolia Lane today, what was that like?  And what was your feeling setting foot in the clubhouse for the first time?
MATT JONES:  I didn't drive downit.  I had no idea where I was going, so I had to follow Stadler.  I was following Kevin, actually, because I stayed with him last night.  He had to go to the caddie area, so I followed him to the right so I never drove down.  So I'll get to do that tomorrow.
And I just walked into the clubhouse here.  It's awkward when you don't know where you're going because every TOUR event, you walk in and know exactly what you're doing.  So you walk around here, and I'm not quite sure where to go or what doors I can go in or out of.

Q.  Do you remember perhaps the first person you bumped into when you got here?
MATT JONES:  Stads.  No, I can't, to be honest.

Q.¬† The first win is always life‑changing.¬† Where on the list of importance was the invite to come here versus the security of some exemptions and whatnot; where does that land?
MATT JONES:  The win?  The win is huge.  I played golf my whole life, and our whole aim when you play golf is to win.  Every time you tee it up to play golf is to win, and that's the same thing coming here.  My goal is to win.  I'm a rookie.  It doesn't happen too often, but I've been playing great and I'm playing against the same guys I do every week and I've beaten them before.  It'll be a good week.

Q. ¬†The by‑product of the win, knowing you're going to come here versus the security you've just attained.
MATT JONES:  This is always a goal of every golfer.  It's a goal for every golfer to play here.  This is amazing.  Waking up as kids and watching this, you've always dreamed of coming here.  Watching Greg play, it was amazing.  And the win gets me a lot of other tournaments, too.  So this is just icing on the cake to get to come here.

Q.  You said that you thought a lot of Aussie golfers fed off Adam's win here.  Did you personally?  Did it put any extra wind in your sails?
MATT JONES:  It always does when I see an Australian win, especially Bowdo won the week before me.  I saw Bowdo win and I thought, why couldn't that be me the week of Houston, which luckily enough it was.  Seeing Jason win in Melbourne at the World Cup, I think it was, and the Match Play; it's just good to see your fellow countrymen do it and it gives you hope that you can do it.

Q.¬† Taking you back like a year and a half or even further at Q‑School, you got through Q‑School and it wasn't that long ago.¬† You had a really good year last year that people might not have noticed as much.¬† You had that putt that would have got you here, ten feet, lipped out.¬† How much did you think about that since then, and now that you've got there this way, sort of even more incredible?
MATT JONES:¬† I haven't thought about it once, actually.¬† I'm not a person to dwell on things.¬† I knew what it meant when I missed the putt.¬† But a couple of days later, I would have been over it and moved on because I knew there's many other ways to get here, Top‑50 in the world, a win, which I did.¬† I was hoping to get in the Top‑50 in the world and get here, and that's my goal for all the other tournaments, as well.
It's been coming.¬† I've been working hard with my golf coach in Australia.¬† I've always had ball‑striking ability just being in the situation which has come the last couple of years, you feel more comfortable.

Q.¬† Gary told me last year that he would have put the house and everything on the fact that you would be in the Top‑50 within next 12 months and you've done it.¬† So you both had that heavy belief?
MATT JONES:¬† Yeah, I've been hitting the ball great for a long time.¬† So ball‑striking's never been my issue, and Gary is one of the best golf coaches no one would know of in the world, and I put all my trust in him in the golf swing, what we have to do to get my game to the next level, and it's working.

Q.  Can you explain to us about Gary's role?  And you've been knocking on the door for a while, like Greenbrier, etc., do you feel there are more wins to come?
MATT JONES:  Gary comes over a lot now, six, seven times a year.  And I'd actually like him to come more, but he has a family back in Australia.  He's going to come this week and he'll probably come to Charlotte.
What was the second question?

Q.  Do you feel like you can string a few together?
MATT JONES:  Yeah, once you get one, they say they can keep coming.  Just keep giving myself the opportunities.  I feel like if I can keep doing that and keep chipping and putting the way I am, I think I'll be out with a good chance.

Q.  Who will you take advice from this week?
MATT JONES:¬† I mean, I'm going to play with Adam on Wednesday, so that's a pretty good person to take some advice from.¬† But anyone; I'm going to see the golf course for myself just to get an idea.¬† I've seen a lot of golf on TV, a lot of this tournament on TV.¬† Not that that gives you a good understanding, but you see certain things.¬† I'm sure I might play ‑‑ I'm playing with the Stadlers tomorrow, so that's a good person to ask, Craig; I'll ask him a few questions about it, too, because he's played here quite a lot.

Q.  As was well documented, it took a long time for an Australian to win here.  Could it have the same effect as you were talking about on just general TOUR wins that once the first Australian has won, you can see many more coming quickly?
MATT JONES:  Well, there's a lot of us out here.  We've seen a pretty good stretch in the last couple months.  So hopefully there's more to come.  I think junior golf in Australia is pretty big, too, so there's going to be more young Australians coming up and it's going to come through the Web.com and come out here or go through Europe and come out here.  I think golf overall in the world is pretty strong right now with all of the depth you have and all of the multiple winners we have every year now.

Q.¬† You said that everyone has raved about your ball‑striking.¬† So what was holding you back?¬† Was it something else?¬† Did you almost need to see all these other people to know, mentally, I can do this?
MATT JONES:¬† It's not something‑‑ I haven't won a lot of golf tournaments in my life, so it's something you're not used to and there's always something to be said for that.¬† I won a couple of junior tournaments.¬† I never won on the Web.com Tour.¬† Seeing Senden win and Bowdo win last week, you know you can compete with them and beat them.
But as I said to Gary, it's just when it's your time, it's your time, and I think yesterday was my time.

Q.  Had you seen your capacity when you're in a position to contend?  Have you seen your capacity to endure that moment improve?  Jason Day was talking about on 16 here last year, and Jimmy Walker was talking about the final putt that he had to make for his first TOUR win.  Was it building for you?
MATT JONES:  I definitely noticed it.  I said to my coach when I spoke to him after I won, normally when I'm in that situation, I notice myself to be a little more jumpy or a bit edgy, but yesterday I was totally calm.  I'm a much better chaser than I am leader, which I know that from experience.  I'm much more aggressive and comfortable coming from behind.  I think that helped knowing that I was chasing such a big title.

Q.  Obviously you're friends with the Stadlers; how did you cross paths with them and what do you think of the cool factor of both of them playing in the Masters?
MATT JONES:  I think it's great.  I'm sure it's a lifelong dream for both of theirs.  I know Kev is extremely excited about it and I'm sure Craig is, as well, but I haven't spoken to him.
I know Kevin from college golf when I came to college over here in 1999.  He was at USC and I went to Arizona State.  We have known each other ever since, and now I live in Scottsdale and he lives there, too, so we hang out quite a bit.

Q.  Where were you at a year ago when Adam won and what were your thoughts?
MATT JONES:  I was at home watching it and I was elated.  It was amazing.  Watching that putt that he made, thinking that had won him the tournament, was amazing.  And then the way he celebrated, I'm sure it gave all Australians goosebumps and gives them to me now just thinking about it.  And watching him do what he did on the playoff hole was unbelievable, so I was ecstatic.

Q.  Were you in Australia coming out?  Were you rooting for him even though you compete with all these guys?
MATT JONES:  Yes.  I'm not ashamed to say, yes, we were.

Q.  Having watched so much Masters on the TV, is there anything special you want to look at this week or see or buy and will you perhaps try to play the putt that Adam had in the playoff?
MATT JONES:  No.  I mean, there's lots of things; the Par 3 tournament, I'm going to have my brother caddie for that.  I'm really excited to play that, and then just playing the golf course.  I'm very excited to see the golf course.  I've never been here before.  I told myself I would never come here unless I'm playing the golf tournament.  So just to get out there and experience it and see all those shots, No. 12, No. 13, No. 15, 16, all those shots that you see on TV and hear people talk about, it's going to be pretty cool to get out there and hit the shot myself.

Q.  What were your plans originally for this coming week?
MATT JONES:¬† I was headed home last night to play with my three‑week‑old and my two‑year‑old daughter and spend some time with them and have a couple weeks off and get back to New Orleans or Charlotte.

Q.  You said yesterday after you chipped in that you told your caddie that you thought you were going to make it.  You've done that before, haven't you?
MATT JONES:  I actually told him I would make the putt, too, in regulation.  But I have.  When I'm chipping well, I feel that I can make any chip, any chip I look at, doesn't matter, bunker, any chip when I'm chipping really well.  That's something I've worked really hard on with my coach.  I was chipping bad all year and he came to Bay Hill and we fixed it up and it's worked pretty well.
THE MODERATOR:  Congratulations again.  Thank you for your time and we wish you the very best this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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