WiretoWire: J.J Spaun's hard work pays off with win in TexasNotches first PGA TOUR victory with two-shot win at Valero Texas Open
April 04, 2022
By Staff , PGATOUR.COM
- April 04, 2022
J.J. Spaun earns his first PGA Tour victory at Valero
Prior to this week, the last player to win a PGA TOUR event after opening the final round with a double bogey was Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open. That changed Sunday at the Valero Texas Open, as J.J. Spaun rallied to secure his first career TOUR title with a final-round, 3-under 69 and 13-under total at TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course, good for a two-stroke victory over Matt Jones and Matt Kuchar. Spaun, 31, entered the week with four top-three finishes in 146 career TOUR starts, but a trophy had eluded him. His magical week in the Lone Star State included an eagle hole-out from 87 yards on the par-5 eighth hole Thursday, as well as two chip-in birdies over the weekend. After graduating from San Diego State in 2012, Spaun’s steady career progression has included the 2015 PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit title, his first TOUR card via the 2016 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season, and now a joyful change in travel plans – with his victory, he earns the final spot in this week’s Masters. The Los Angeles native moves from 66th to 10th on the season-long FedExCup standings – 500 points accrued – and departs San Antonio with tangible proof that his best is good enough to beat the best.
TIGER ‘GAME-TIME DECISION’ FOR MASTERS
Golf fans continue to be on the edge of their seats as they await a final decision from Tiger Woods on competing at the Masters this week. On Sunday, Woods wrote on social media that he would be flying to Augusta that day to continue preparation and practice, but that he would be a “game-time decision.” The five-time Masters champion played a practice round on March 29 at Augusta National, and continues to recover from the single-car accident in February 2021 that nearly resulted in the amputation of his right leg.
While the golf world waits for Woods’ decision, defending champion Hideki Matsuyama is another question mark. Matsuyama withdrew from THE PLAYERS Championship before play began, citing a back injury. He also withdrew from the Valero Texas Open midway through the second round, citing a neck injury. Those in the field who are feeling quite healthy include many of the world’s best players, including Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. A win by McIlroy will give him the career Grand Slam, and Collin Morikawa is looking to become the first man since Jordan Spieth in 2015 to win back-to-back majors. And don’t forget about Rahm, who has finished inside the top 10 in each of his last five major starts, including a victory at the 2021 U.S. Open. Augusta National Golf Club (par 72, 7,510 yards) is expected to once again create plenty of drama and add to its illustrious history. The iconic Alister MacKenzie/Bobby Jones design saw two changes for the 2022 edition of the Masters as both the par-4 11th and par-5 15th holes have been lengthened.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Jordan Spieth helps Wish come true with lesson at Valero Texas Open
“It’s enjoyment and also disbelief that we have been allowed to do this, and shock that (I’m) literally standing here, walking, playing, hitting these shots that we’ve seen forever. All the Augusta magic hits you, and you walk around like, ‘Am I really here? Am I really doing this?’” -
Harry Higgs discusses his time at Augusta National Golf Club while preparing for his first Masters Tournament
BY THE NUMBERS
14 - First-time players competing at the Masters this week
500 - The number of PGA TOUR starts Matt Kuchar notched when he teed it up in Round 1 of the Valero Texas Open.
17 - Years since Augusta resident Luke List last played the Masters; he was low amateur in 2005
COMCAST BUSINESS TOUR TOP 10
This Week Name Points 1. Scottie Scheffler 2,170
2. Sam Burns 1,390 3. Cameron Smith 1,354
4. Hideki Matsuyama 1,321
5. Tom Hoge 1,168
6. Talor Gooch 1,140
7. Viktor Hovland 1,074
8. Sungjae Im 960
9. Joaquin Niemann 849
J.J. Spaun 842
The Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 highlights and rewards the extraordinary level of play required to earn a spot in the TOP 10 at the conclusion of the FedExCup Regular Season as determined by the FedExCup standings. The competition recognizes and awards the most elite in golf.