The 28-year-old began the final day on 13-under-par and he carded five birdies and two bogeys en route to his fourth consecutive sub-70 round to take the title by the narrowest of margins from US duo Tim Petrovic and Jason Kokrak.
The lack of big-name players in the field always made it likely that there would be a winner from the lesser lights of the PGA Tour and Blixt's victory means there have now been three successful rookies in 2012.
John Mallinger began his final round at the top of the leaderboard but a one-over-par 72 was not good enough to hold on for victory and he shared fourth place with Jimmy Walker, Vijay Singh and Alexandre Rocha on -14.
Jeff Overton's 66 saw him climb to 13-under-par and sole ownership of eighth place while Scotland's Russell Knox and big-hitting American Gary Woodland were locked together on -12 after 72 holes to share ninth place.
But it was Blixt who took all the plaudits in California and the Swede struggled to describe what the triumph meant to him.
"It's unbelievable," he said. "I have no words right now. This is the biggest dream I've ever had."
England's Greg Owen finished in a tie for 22nd on nine-under-par, while compatriot Brian Davis rallied with a final-round 66 to finish on -8 and joint-29th position.
Nicolas Colsaerts' week tailed off after an excellent beginning and the Belgian Ryder Cup star ended up sharing 35th on -7 after a disappointing 73 on Sunday.