by AP News.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jordan Spieth ended a slump that lasted nearly four years, closing with a 6-under 66 on Sunday to win the Valero Texas Open for his first victory since the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale.
Now he heads to Augusta National as one of the favorites at the Masters.
“This is a monumental win for me,” Spieth said. “It’s been a long road. There were a lot of times that I didn’t know I would be here.”
Spieth sealed it with a 5-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole, and he won by two shots over Charley Hoffman.
Spieth went 82 starts on the PGA Tour without a victory since Royal Birkdale. He missed the Tour Championship the past two years and nearly fell out of the top 100 in the world at the start of this year.
But the 27-year-old from Dallas showed signs of turning it around. He was tied for the 54-hole lead in Phoenix. He led by two going into the final round at Pebble Beach. He was two behind going into the last day at Bay Hill.
Tied for the lead with Matt Wallace going into Sunday at the TPC San Antonio, Spieth moved out in front and didn’t let anyone catch him. He built a three-shot lead with a birdie on the 12th hole, when Hoffman made him sweat.
Hoffman, needing a victory to get back to the Masters, chipped in for birdie on the par-3 13th and holed a 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-3 16th to get within one shot.
But he found a bunker off the tee on the short par-4 17th and had to settle for par as Spieth moved two shots ahead, and they both made par on the closing hole. Hoffman closed with a 66.
Spieth, who finished at 18-under 270, moved to No. 38 in the world. He is back in the top 50 for the first time in more than a year.
Wallace couldn’t keep up and closed with a 70 to finish alone in third. Lucas Glover (66) finished in fourth, while Anirban Lahiri birdied the last hole for a 69 to finish alone in fifth.
Spieth typically is a favorite at the Masters, where he was runner-up in his debut in 2014, won wire-to-wire the next year and was runner-up again after losing a back-nine lead in 2016.
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