J.J. Spaun grabs first career win at Valero Texas Open, earns final spot at the Masters

J.J. Spaun’s first career win came at the perfect time.

The 31-year-old will now get to head to Augusta National for the first time.

Spaun fired a final-round 69 on Sunday to win the Valero Texas Open. It was the first win of his career in 147 starts. That officially earned him the final spot in the field at the Masters this week.

“It’s something you dream of as a kid, playing at the Masters,” Spaun said on NBC. “I was thinking about it like last night, but there was still so much to be done. You have to do your best to stay in the present … Fortunately I was able to do that and ended out with the W.”

Spaun entered Sunday tied for the lead at 10-under along with Brandt Snedeker, Beau Hossler and Dylan Frittelli. Almost instantly, Spaun fell two shots back after making a double bogey on the opening hole after running into trouble around the green.

"I was pretty upset, but the only thing, the saving grace to that or the thing I learned from that is it's the first hole ... I knew because it was only the first hole, like you've just got to forget about it," Spaun said.

It didn’t take long for Spaun to get back into it. He birdied three of his last four holes on the front side, including an incredible chip-in birdie on No. 9 after his approach shot bounced off a microphone placed near the green.

He pushed his lead to two shots after a pair of birdies in his first five holes on the back nine, including an easy up-and-down birdie from the bunker on the par-5 14th.

Spaun held his two shot lead all the way to the 18th, though his drive on the final par-5 went way left into the rough. Though his drive wasn’t great, Matt Kuchar hit his second shot into the water, giving Spaun breathing room after his slip off the tee.

After hitting out of the rough back into the fairway, Spaun landed his approach just off the green and two-putted to save his par and secure the win.

Spaun finished the week at 13-under, and he's the ninth first-time winner on Tour this season. Kuchar and Matt Jones tied for second at 11-under.

Spaun has five top-25 finishes this season, though he has made the cut in 13 of his 17 starts. Spaun’s best finish came with a T7 run at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship last fall, and he entered the week ranked No. 242 in the world.

Now, Spaun will head to Georgia for his fourth career appearance in a major championship.

"It means the world. You've only dreamed of playing there for most of us," Spaun said of the Masters. "To think that we're going to be heading there tonight or tomorrow is incredible. I'm really looking forward to it and I can't wait. Hopefully I can have another good week there, too."

J.J. Spaun
J.J. Spaun is headed to the Masters after all. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)