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SAN ANTONIO – Steven Bowditch held on to win the Valero Texas Open in windy conditions Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory, securing a berth in the Masters.

The 30-year-old Australian bogeyed the par-5 18th hole after missing a 3-foot par putt for a 4-over-par 76 and a one-stroke victory over Will MacKenzie (70) and Daniel Summerhays (71). The field averaged 73.8.

“I’m over the moon. I really can’t believe it,” said Bowditch, who attempted suicide in 2006 and has fought depression at times in his career.

It was the highest final-round score by a winner since Vijay Singh finished with a 4-over 76 in the 2004 PGA Championship, and the highest in a nonmajor since Seattle native Fred Couples had a 5-over 77 in the 1983 Kemper Open.

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“After a period of time out there, with the way I was playing, I kind of just accepted the fact that I was going to be playing from cactuses, moving rocks, missing putts and just had to deal with it every time,” Bowditch was quoted as saying on the PGA Tour website.

Bowditch finished at 8-under 280 at TPC San Antonio and earned $1.116 million. He will compete in the Masters, which starts April 10 in Augusta, Ga.

“Every time I got out of check, looking ahead to the Masters and winning golf events and making my speeches before I was finished, I had to pull myself in check every time,” he said.

Bowditch, based in Dallas, entered the event ranked 339th in the world and had two top-10 finishes in eight years on the Tour.

“He’s been a battler. He’s gone through a lot in his life,” said John Senden, a fellow Australian who won the Valspar Championship two weeks earlier.

Michael Putnam (75), who is from University Place, tied for 42nd at 3 over and former UW Huskies player Richard H. Lee (74) tied for 62nd at 6 over.

Nordqvist wins

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Anna Nordqvist of Sweden rallied to win the Kia Classic at Aviara for her second victory in her last four LPGA Tour starts.

Nordqvist, 26, closed with her second straight 5-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over Lizette Salas (70).

Nordqvist had a 13-under 275 total and earned $255,000 for the victory.

Lexi Thompson (68) was third at 11 under.


Kris Blanks won the Louisiana Open for his second career Tour title, closing with a 9-under 62 and beating Brett Stegmaier with a 10-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff in Broussard.

Blanks, 41, had a 14-under 270 total and earned $99,000.

Andres Gonzales (69) of Olympia tied for 14th place at 10 under and former UW Husky Nick Taylor (73) tied for 59th.

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