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Spaun bags maiden win at Texas Open to earn Masters ticket

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – JJ Spaun punched his ticket to the Masters after firing a three-under-par to claim the first victory of his career at the Texas Open on Sunday.

The journeyman world number 242 from Los Angeles recovered from a disastrous double-bogey opening hole to card five birdies and 12 pars to finish on 13 under for the tournament at San Antonio.

Australia’s Matt Jones, who finished with a six-under-par 66, and Matt Kuchar (69) finished two off the lead tied for second on 11 under.

Canada’s Adam Hadwin, Troy Merritt, Charles Howell III and overnight co-leader Beau Hossler were a further shot back on 10 under.

The first tournament PGA Tour victory of Spaun’s career means he will now claim the last available spot at next week’s Masters in Augusta – the first time he has played in the iconic tournament.

Spaun’s entry at Augusta will be only the third time ever he has played in a major, following a 35th place finish at the 2018 PGA Championship and a missed cut at last year’s US Open.

“To be here and finally get a win – it’s everything you dream of,” said Spaun, whose win came in his 147th start. “It’s incredible. I’m speechless.”