Adam Scott’s last-day charge failed to materialise as Tour rookie Brendan Steele overcame relentless wind and fellow first-year player Kevin Chappell to win the Texas Open.
The leader by one heading into the final round, Steele played steadily all day for a one-under-par 71 and one-stroke victory over Chappell.
The 28-year-old finished at eight-under for his first tour victory, while Scott struggled to a 76 to fall from the top 10 to a tie for 23rd with fellow Australians Geoff Ogilvy (73), Nathan Green (71) and John Senden (71).
Scott was the defending champion and riding high after finishing equal runner-up at last week’s Masters.
But he never got hot on Sunday, mixing five bogeys with a lone birdie to slump from four-under to even par for the tournament.
Steele birdied the second hole, dropping his approach from a bunker to within 10 feet of the pin, then bogeyed the par-4 No.5, leaving a 12-foot putt short.
He put his tee shot within three feet of the hole on No.7 to move back to eight under but then missed a couple of makeable birdie putts on the back nine, including one that was six inches off on the par-3 16th.
His 12 straight pars was enough to hold off Chappell, though.
Chappell had a share of the lead through seven holes but hit his second shot on the 17th well right of the hole and couldn’t make a 10-foot put to save par.
It was the first time since the 2006 Phoenix Open that two PGA Tour rookies finished in the top two spots at a tournament.
Another rookie, Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, won last week at the Masters, making this the first time rookies have won back-to-back titles on the tour since 2002.
Players in their 20s have won three of the past four PGA Tour events and four of the last six.
A player in his 30s has not won since Rory Sabbatini at the Honda Classic in Florida in March, a span of seven events.