Scott Brown, the 2013 Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com champion, looks back at a short career that has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows on "Inside the PGA TOUR" this week. Learn more about his game, his hometown and more in the videos below.
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM contributor
Had the Web.com Tour been playing in the United States last week, it’s altogether likely Scott Brown wouldn’t be a PGA TOUR winner today.
Though Brown began the year with conditional PGA TOUR status, his low standing on the priority chart had pretty much convinced him to focus on the Web.com Tour as his path back to a full card for the 2013-14 season.
But Chile was last week’s stop, and the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com had slots open for those not playing in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
“That obviously helped my decision,” Brown acknowledged. “If [the Web.com Tour event] had been in the States, I might not have played.”
Hey, timing is everything. And after chasing down Fabian Gomez on Puerto Rico’s final hole, Brown no longer has to deal with such dilemmas.
“It’s a big monkey off my back,” said Brown, who is playing in this week's Tampa Bay Championship presented by Everbank on the PGA TOUR “It’s a freedom thing. Job security is a big deal around here. Now you go out and just play golf like you’re supposed to.”
Brown finished last season ranked 148th on the PGA TOUR money list, good enough to keep a limited card for 2013 but not high enough to do much with it. Three top-10 finishes – two coming at opposite-field events – were offset by 16 missed cuts in 24 starts.
Looking at a condensed season as the TOUR shifts to a wraparound schedule, Brown figured his starts would be even more limited than usual. “Maybe five or six events at the most,” he said.
Brown’s only West Coast entry came at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he tied for 30th. It provided a nice springboard into the Web.com Tour season, where he placed third in Panama and tied for seventh in Colombia.
Though Brown’s 20-under 268 in Puerto Rico set the tournament record, he needed Gomez’ stumble at No.18 to walk away with the trophy. The Argentine held a one-shot lead, but found bunkers on both his second and third shots.
“I didn’t really have time to process it,” said Brown, whose 4-foot birdie putt suddenly was worth a victory. “It just happened like that.”
Though the victory locked up berths in THE PLAYERS Championship and PGA Championship, the most desirable perk remains elusive. As winner of an opposite-field event, the native of North Augusta, S.C., doesn’t get a Masters invitation.
Brown’s grandfather lives perhaps 500 yards from Gate 6 at Augusta National.
“My granddad’s had tickets since I was a baby,” he said. “We used to sit in the grandstands at [No.] 16 every Sunday and just watch every group go through.”
Brown has played Augusta National once, carding a 74 just before the 2005 tournament. He doesn’t begrudge the club’s decision to invite only winners of events with full FedExCup points.
“I know if I play well,” he said, “it’ll get me to where I want to be.”
Scott Brown earned his first PGA TOUR victory on Sunday at the Puerto Rico Open. (Cohen/Getty Images)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Scott Brown won't have to worry about finding a place to play on the PGA TOUR for a while.
Brown birdied the 72nd hole on Sunday to win the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com for his first PGA TOUR victory.
Brown, who earns a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR and 300 FedExCup points with his win, carded a 2-under 70 to finish at 20-under 268 for a one-shot win over Fabian Gomez (71) and 19-year-old Jordan Spieth (67) at Trump International in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
Former U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein tied for sixth, giving him a spot in the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank next week.
Scott Brown birdied the 72nd hole for a one-shot victory -- his first on the PGA TOUR -- on Sunday at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com.
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Scott Brown tied his best career finish with a T5 last season at the Puerto Rico Open. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Just another typical round of golf. That would sum up Scott Brown's second round of the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com on Friday in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
At least until the fun began.
Brown was going along just fine, two birdies on par 5s and four pars, until he holed a 170-yard shot with a 7-iron from the fairway on the seventh hole for an eagle, then rolled in a 50-footer for birdie on No. 8, hit his approach to an inch on the ninth and then birdied the 10th.
Not too shabby.
"So just a solid day," said Brown, who carded a 9-under 63 for a two-day total of 13 under, one shot back of leader Andres Romero. "I hit it well, putted it well, got it down when I needed to to keep my momentum going."
Brown, playing with conditional status on the PGA TOUR this season, is off to a hot start in 2013. He had a T30 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and finished third at the Web.com Tour's Panama Claro Championship and also T7 at the Colombia Championship.
Brown could get into the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank next week with a top 10 in Puerto Rico. And he has some good vibes here after finishing T5 last season, tied for the best PGA TOUR finish of his career.
"It fits my eye really well," Brown said. "I finished fifth here last year. I played good. It's just, I think Bermuda is one thing, I grew up in the Southeast, Augusta, Georgia, so I guess Bermudagrass is kind of home to me."
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Stephen Ames withdrew from the Waste Management Phoenix Open prior to the start of the first round.
Ames, who cited a bad back, was replaced by Scott Brown, a PGA TOUR rookie. The Nationwide Tour grad has missed the cut in his first three starts on TOUR.
Gary Christian is now the first alternate.