Scott Brown shot a final-round 70 to win the Puerto Rico Open by one shot from Fabian Gomez and Jordan Spieth at the Trump International Golf Club.
Brown, who lost his PGA Tour card after finishing 148th on the money list in 2012, now has a two-year exemption on the top-tier circuit.
It was also his first victory on the PGA Tour and by far the biggest win of his career. His three previous professional victories came on the little-known eGolf tour in 2009.
Brown has now earned an exemption for both the Players Championship and the PGA Championship in August.
The American posted rounds of 68, 63 and 67 to head into the final round tied for the lead with Gomez, who fired a third-round 65.
Standing on the 72nd tee, the Argentine held a slender one-shot advantage. He hit a perfect drive, but things soon started to go wrong.
He found a tough tie in a bunker after a wayward second, hit his third into another bunker over the green and missed a 15-foot par putt.
His playing partner subsequently knocked in his four-foot birdie putt to round-off the best week of his golfing career.
Spieth, who made a costly bogey at the 16th, finished in second alongside Gomez, with Justin Bolli and Brian Stuard a shot further back in a tie for fourth.
Former American Amateur champion Peter Uihlein eagled the last hole to finish in a tie for sixth.
“I thought I would need an eagle as well as he was playing,” Brown said. “So I just stayed aggressive.
“I was nervous over that last putt. As a kid growing up in Georgia, this is a dream come true.”
Brown became the fourth first-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, following Russell Henley, John Merrick and Michael Thompson.
Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com
Trump International Golf Club, Puerto Rico
March 7-10, Purse $3,500,000
1) Scott Brown – 68-63-67-70 = 268 $630,000
T2) Fabian Gomez – 69-64-65-71 = 269 $308,000
T2) Jordan Spieth – 69-66-67-67 = 269 $308,000
T4) Justin Bolli – 67-69-68-66 = 270 $154,000
T4) Brian Stuard – 67-69-66-68 = 270 $154,000
T6) Andres Romero – 65-65-75-66 = 271 $121,625
T6) Peter Uihlein – 67-65-72-67 = 271$121, 625
T8) David Hearn – 68-67-71-66 = 272 $101,500
T8) D.J. Trahan – 72-65-69-66 = 272 $101,500
T8) Boo Weekley – 71-67-66-68 $101,500
Note: bold signifies Titleist golf ball usage