Jordan Spieth ends near four-year drought with win at Texas Open

Closing 66 sends former Masters champion off to Augusta on a high

Jordan Spieth’s long journey between trophy presentations ended Sunday not all that far from home with a two-shot victory in the Valero Texas Open at San Antonio.

The Dallas native last won at the British Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017. He capped off a nearly four-year run between titles by shooting a six-under-par 66 in the final round and finishing 18-under 270 for the tournament over the TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course.

Charlie Hoffman finished in second place at 16 under, shooting an identical 66 on Sunday. England's Matt Wallace (70) resided in third place at 14 under, while Lucas Glover (66) finished in fourth place at 12 under and India's Anirban Lahiri (69) settled for fifth place at 10 under.

“There were a lot of times when I wasn’t sure I would be here, talking about [a victory],” Spieth said on the NBC broadcast. “I never really doubted myself to be able to get back to where I wanted to go, but when you lose confidence, a lot of times it’s hard to see the positive going forward. I just kept my head down.”

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Spieth and Wallace were tied for the lead at 12 under par when play started Sunday, with the former making a charge early. He had birdies at the second and third hole before a bogey at the fourth, but recovered with two more birdies at the sixth and eighth.

Spieth made the turn to the back nine with a two-shot lead over Hoffman and increased that to three with a birdie at the 422-yard, par-4 12th hole when he reached 16 under. He did just enough from there, and when Hoffman drew to within one shot, Spieth sealed the victory with a five-foot birdie putt at the 17th before a par five on the closing hole.

“I felt really light like I wanted to smile and come out and have some fun,” said Spieth, who failed to win earlier this season when he had 54-hole leads at two events.

“That’s been a challenge for me on these Sundays, when I have been in contention, is that early in the round I didn’t come out with a lightness to me. Today I did and it was nice. It’s been a long road.”

A three-time Major winner, Spieth will now try to turn the clock back even further in an attempt to reprise his victory at The Masters in 2015. His victory in Texas makes him one of the favourites for the first Major of 2021, which begins on Thursday.

Hoffman, the 2016 Texas Open winner, needed a victory to earn a spot at The Masters. He gave himself a chance when his birdie putt from the edge of the green of the 16th pulled him to within a shot of Spieth’s lead.

But the deficit was two shots again when he had a par at 17, while Spieth birdied.

Hoffman stayed close with three birdies on his first six holes of the day, then had two more birdies at the 13th and 14th before another at the par-3 16th hole.

Wallace was unable to stay with the leaders, as all three played in the final group of the day. He shot an even-par 36 on the front nine. He had 11 consecutive pars before birdies at the 16th and 17th.

Brant Snedeker (68), Chris Kirk (68) and Gary Woodland (69) all finished in a tie for sixth place at nine under. Cameron Tringale (72), the 36-hole leader, was tied for ninth place with Patton Kizzire and Colombia's Sebastian Munoz (69) at eight under. Kizzire had the low round of the day with a seven-under 65.

Graeme McDowell finished the week on level par after closing with a two-over 74, while Pádraig Harrington carded a one-over 73 to end up on three over.

Final leaderboard

(USA unless stated, Par 72):

270 Jordan Spieth 67 70 67 66

272 Charley Hoffman 75 66 65 66

274 Matt Wallace (Eng) 69 68 67 70

276 Lucas Glover 73 67 70 66

278 Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 71 69 69 69

279 Chris Kirk 72 72 67 68, Brandt Snedeker 72 67 72 68, Gary Woodland 71 72 67 69

280 Patton Kizzire 71 74 70 65, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 68 74 69 69, Cameron Tringale 66 69 73 72

281 Tom Hoge 68 76 66 71, Matt Kuchar 70 70 70 71

282 Corey Conners (Can) 71 74 67 70, Kyle Stanley 71 68 72 71, Erik van Rooyen (Rsa) 71 68 72 71

283 Rickie Fowler 76 68 69 70, Brandon Hagy 70 70 72 71, Luke List 73 71 70 69, Keith Mitchell 72 69 71 71, Ryan Palmer 72 71 70 70, Camilo Villegas (Col) 64 76 71 72

284 Abraham Ancer (Mex) 72 73 69 70, Keegan Bradley 71 73 70 70, Branden Grace (Rsa) 75 71 70 68, Chesson Hadley 73 72 66 73, Adam Hadwin (Can) 70 73 71 70, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 72 72 70 70, Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Kor) 70 73 70 71

285 K J Choi (Kor) 72 74 69 70, Martin Laird (Sco) 72 73 72 68, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 67 74 73 71, Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 71 70 74 70

286 Joseph Bramlett 72 73 69 72, Cameron Champ 77 69 73 67, Lanto Griffin 75 71 69 71, Denny McCarthy 71 74 71 70, Troy Merritt 76 69 68 73, Matthew NeSmith 73 71 72 70, Bo Van Pelt 74 72 73 67, Vincent Whaley 69 76 70 71, Ben Martin 73 73 72 68, Rafael Campos (Pur) 72 74 68 72

287 Rafael Cabrera (Esp) 70 71 78 68, Tyler Duncan 73 71 73 70, Doug Ghim 74 72 72 69, Kelly Kraft 75 71 68 73, Doc Redman 72 68 73 74, Chase Seiffert 72 70 74 71, Vaughn Taylor 71 74 70 72, Martin Trainer 70 74 70 73, Aaron Wise 75 70 75 67, Sam Fidone 74 72 70 71

288 Tom Lewis (Eng) 73 72 74 69, Graeme McDowell (N Irl) 74 71 69 74, Seung-Yul Noh (Kor) 67 76 74 71, Scottie Scheffler 68 78 69 73, Kevin Stadler 69 70 73 76

289 Sebastian Cappelen (Den) 74 71 73 71, Sung-Hoon Kang (Kor) 66 76 72 75, Scott Stallings 77 69 72 71, Nick Taylor (Can) 73 70 74 72, D. J. Trahan 74 71 74 70, Jimmy Walker 72 72 70 75, Greyson Sigg 73 72 70 74, Tain Lee 73 73 72 71

290 Pat Perez 70 73 72 75, Sepp Straka (Aut) 71 72 74 73

291 Cameron Davis (Aus) 71 71 73 76, Pádraig Harrington (Irl) 70 74 74 73, Beau Hossler 74 72 73 72, John Huh 72 73 71 75, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 71 73 74 73

292 Joel Dahmen 74 72 73 73

293 Kristoffer Ventura (Nor) 74 72 77 70

294 Ryan Moore 71 72 78 73

295 Brendan Steele 70 76 76 73

296 Will Gordon 72 74 77 73