D.A. Points has won a closely contested Shell Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club in Texas by a single shot from fellow American Billy Horschel and Henrik Stenson of Sweden.
Points had shown little form on this year’s PGA Tour, having missed seven cuts in nine starts. But it was the 37-year-old who emerged from the pack on Sunday to claim his second Tour title. From nowhere on the FedEx Cup points list, he’s now up to 16th, has secured a two-year Tour exemption and a start in the US Masters at Augusta.
“I’ve been having a really tough year,” he said. “But I never count myself out. I was grinding and fortunately, this was the week.”
Going into the final round, no fewer than 20 players were within just four shots of the lead and, for much of Sunday, the tournament was wide open. Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Kevin Chappell and Ben Crane all making mini-charges.
A rain delay toward the end of the day raised the tension and Points, one clear at that point, looked nervous when he came back to the course after the storm clouds had passed.
He came up well short on the 17th, but played a sublime pitch to save par. Then, on the last, he had to get up-and-down from the side of the green again to secure the victory. His chip came up a little short and he was left with a 13-foot putt for the win. He composed himself and duly rolled it in to deny Horschel and Stenson, both of whom also closed with rounds of 66.
Stenson had an excellent consolation prize to celebrate. His tie for second insured he returned to the World’s top-50 and has, therefore qualified to play at Augusta.
“I said to my caddie walking up 18, `No matter what, we’re playing for a green jacket in a couple of weeks,'” he said. “That will be nice.”
The news wasn’t so good for Charles Howell III. He didn’t get the finish he needed to move back into the top-50 and will miss the Masters for the fourth time in the last five years.
Shell Houston Open
Redstone GC Tournament Course, Humble, Texas
Mar 28-31, purse $6,200,000 par 72
1 D.A. Points (USA) 64 71 71 66 272 $1,116,000
T2 Billy Horschel (USA) 68 72 67 66 273 $545,600
T2 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 69 70 68 66 273 $545,600
T4 Ben Crane (USA) 69 70 67 68 274 $272,800
T4 Dustin Johnson (USA) 69 70 70 65 274 $272,800
T6 Kevin Chappell (USA) 70 70 67 68 275 $207,700
T6 Stewart Cink (USA) 71 66 68 70 275 $207,700
T6 Brian Davis (USA) 67 70 71 67 275 $207,700
9 Jason Kokrak (USA) 66 69 71 70 276 $179,800
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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