Jordan Spieth ended a nearly four year drought in the winner’s circle with a victory at the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio.
The former No. 1 player in the world went 1,351 days covering 82 PGA TOUR events since his last win, his third major championship at the Open Championship in July 2017.
“I honestly thought that I would be more emotional at the end, but I’m kind of glad I’m not. It was a fun battle today,” Spieth said. “There’s peaks and valleys in this sport, but I never expected to go this long. Back then, in between wins, maybe I took things more for granted than I should have. It’s very difficult to win out here and I’ll certainly enjoy this one as much as I have any other.”
Spieth began the day tied for the lead with European Tour star Matt Wallace and built a three stroke lead by the 12th hole. The win was well-earned as he closed with a 6-under 66 to hold off a charging Charley Hoffman for the 2-shot victory.
“This sport can take you a lot of different directions,” Spieth said. “So I think it’s just most important to embrace when I have moments like this and just really appreciate them and keep my head down, keep the process that I’m doing.”
The win catapulted Spieth up to No. 38 in the world and back inside the top 50 for the first time in over a calendar year and he will return to his spot among the favorites to win the green jacket next week at the Masters.
The ‘horses for courses’ saying certainly applies to Hoffman in the case of the Valero Texas Open as he has gone 99-under since 2006 in a run that includes a win and a runner-up finish.
“I’ve lost golf tournaments, I’ve won golf tournaments, but today Jordan won the golf tournament,” Hoffman said. “Obviously I put some pressure on. Obviously I would have liked to have hit some better shots coming down the stretch, but gave myself an opportunity coming down the 18th fairway and that’s all you can ask for. Hats off to Jordan.”
Rickie Fowler finished in a tie for 17th at 5-under following a 2-under 70 on Sunday, but he needed a win in San Antonio to make the Masters and now one of the sport’s most popular players will see his consecutive majors appearances streak end at 42. While he will miss his first major since the 2010 U.S. Open, Fowler is trending in the right direction as his weekend in San Antonio gave him his first top 20 finish of the season.