Matt Jones misses cut amid farcical scenes at 2018 US Open

Mates: Matt Jones (right) plays a practice round with Jordan Spieth. Picture: AP
Mates: Matt Jones (right) plays a practice round with Jordan Spieth. Picture: AP

Matt Jones was one of seven Australians to miss the cut at a brutal US Open in New York over the weekend.

Jones shot 76 and 74 to finish +10 after the first two rounds. With the cut line sitting at +8, Jones missed out by two shots.

The Oyster Bay golfer was in good company, with a host of the game’s biggest stars struggling to deal with the tough layout at Shinnecock Hills.

Jordan Spieth (+9), Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods (+10), Bubba Watson (+11), Jason Day (+12), Adam Scott (+13), Sergio Garcia (+14), Jon Rahm (+15) and Martin Kaymer (+18) all shot high scores to miss the cut.

The carnage only continued on Saturday. World No.1 Dustin Johnson, who had a four-shot lead heading into the third round, shot 77 to fall back into a four-way share of the lead.

The USGA apologised for the course set up after it came in for fierce criticism from current and former players. The organisers of the tournament famously lost control of the same course in the last round in 2004. History repeated itself as scores soared in the afternoon in round three as winds dried out the course to give the early starters a significant advantage.

It led to farcical scenes involving Phil Mickelson, who sparked controversy by striking a moving ball in an alarming breach of golfing etiquette.

Mickelson chased after his travelling ball on the 13th green and struck it before it could roll farther from the hole, breaching rule 14.5 which prohibits a player hitting a moving ball.

The former Open Champion, who has a record six runner-up finishes at the US Open and celebrating his 48th birthday, was assessed a two-stroke penalty by the USGA and given a 10 for the hole.

Johnson failed to recover on Sunday finishing even par in the final round and +3 overall as American Brooks Koepka became the first man since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 to win back to back US Open titles. Koepka finished with +1, winning by a shot from Englishman Tommy Fleetwood.

Jones, 38, survived an incredible 11-way playoff in sectional qualifying just to reach the US Open.

The 2015 Australian Open champion will also play in the third major of 2018, The Open Championship at Carnoustie in Scotland next month, after finishing in a tie for second at last year’s Australian Open at Royal Sydney in November.