SAN ANTONIO -- Steven Bowditch held on to win the Texas Open in windy conditions Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory and a spot in the Masters.
The 30-year-old Australian bogeyed the par-5 18th for a four-over-par 76 — the highest closing score by a winner since Vijay Singh finished with a four-over 76 in the 2004 PGA Championship — for a one-stroke victory.
“I'm over the moon,” Bowditch said. “I really can't believe it.”
Bowditch finished at eight-under 280 at TPC San Antonio and earned $1,116,000.
Will MacKenzie and Daniel Summerhays tied for second. MacKenzie shot 70 and Summerhays had a 71 in the final round.
Chesson Hadley and Ryan Palmer missed chances to get into the Masters by moving into the top 50 in the world ranking. Hadley, the Puerto Rico Open winner, needed at least a sixth-place finish, but closed with an 80 to tie for 56th at five over. Palmer needed a top-three finish and had an 82 to also tie for 56th.
Bowditch entered the week ranked 339th in the world and had only two top-10 finishes in eight years on the tour in a career marked by bouts of depression. He won once on the Australasian circuit and twice on the Web.Com Tour.
Bowditch played the front nine in 3-over 39, making a double bogey on the par-four fourth. He countered a bogey on the par-three 13th with a birdie on the par-5 14th and made three pars before missing a three-foot par putt and settling for a bogey on 18.
On the par-three 16th, he got up-and-down after missing the green. He pushed his drive on the par-four 17th, hit his approach on the green and two-putted, then pulled his tee shot left on 18, recovered with a shot to the fairway and reached the green in three.
“I just drew back on some experience,” Bowditch said.
MacKenzie made a 13-foot birdie putt on the 17th to pull within a stroke of Bowditch, but the Australian tapped in from two feet for his birdie at No. 14 to push the advantage back to two.
Matt Kuchar and Andrew Loupe each shot 75 to tie for fourth at six under.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times