Austen Truslow outlasted Jonathan Rector in a four-hole playoff to win the AJGA Puerto Rico Junior Open Monday and earn an exemption into a PGA Tour event.
Truslow, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., will now be invited to play in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open after his victory at Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
“It means everything,” Truslow said. “That is ultimately what I want to do, to play on Tour. To have the opportunity to go out and play against the best players in the world is going to be incredible, really a dream come true.”
Truslow began the final round four shots off the lead, but fired a 5-under 67 – a score that was capped by birdie at the par-5 18th – to earn a spot the first playoff of his AJGA career. Rector, of Hendersonville, N.C., shot a final-round 68 and eagled his 54th hole of the competition to earn the other spot in the playoff at 6 under.
On the fourth playoff hole, Truslow got up and down from the sand to seal the victory. Truslow, who won the Junior Players last fall, finished T-2 at the Puerto Rico Junior a year ago.
“There was so much on the line and my putting was pretty shaky all week and I just never had so much pressure before,” Truslow said. “After the first playoff hole I was able to settle down and calmed my nerves a bit. That was my first playoff ever, which was pretty crazy since it was a playoff to get into a PGA Tour event.”
George Cunningham, of Tucson, Ariz.; Ryoto Furuya, of Wesley Chapel, Fla.; and Jackson Lang, of Lexington, Mass., tied for third at 5 under.