Australian Steven Bowditch has broken through to claim his maiden US PGA Tour victory and a start in next week’s US Masters.
The 30-year-old Bowditch won the Texas Open by one shot despite shooting a final round of four-over-par 76 to finish at eight-under 280 on the Greg Norman-designed Oaks Course in San Antonio.
It’s the third win by an Australian on the tour in five weeks, following Jason Day in the WGC-Match Play Championship and John Senden in the Valspar Championship.
And it’s a huge breakthrough for Bowditch, who has battled with severe depression during his tour career.
He now has a two-year exemption to continue playing on the US tour and he will leap from his current modest world ranking of No.339 – as well collect $US1.11 million ($A1.20 million) in prizemoney.
More immediately he’s set to join defending champion Adam Scott, Day and Senden at the Masters at Augusta National next week for the year’s first major championship.
Bowditch has made the cut in seven of his 12 US PGA Tour starts in 2014, with a share of 19th place at Pebble Beach his only previous top-25 finish of the season.
His previous best career finish on the PGA Tour was a tie for second at the Greenbrier Classic last year, though he has won three times on the Australasian PGA Tour.
Americans Will MacKenzie (70) and Daniel Summerhays (71) tied for second behind Bowditch.