Ian Poulter wins Houston Open and earns Masters start

Poulter beat Beau Hossler at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff

Ian Poulter wins Houston Open and earns Masters start
Ian Poulter wins Houston Open and earns Masters start
(Image credit: Getty Images)

England’s Ian Poulter beat Beau Hossler of the USA at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff for the Houston Open to secure a place in The Masters at Augusta National this week.

Ian Poulter wins Houston Open and earns Masters start

A week after he was wrongly told that he had done enough to secure a Masters berth through the World Rankings, Ian Poulter claimed a place in the year’s first Major with victory in the Houston Open.

Poulter had to hole a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd green to force extra holes against American Beau Hossler. Displaying the sort of grit he’s shown in Ryder Cups, Poulter sent the putt home and beat his chest in celebration.

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On the first playoff hole, Hossler found sand from the tee and again with his approach. With Poulter safely on the green in two, Hossler thinned his greenside bunker shot into the water and handed the title to Poulter.

It was the Englishman’s third PGA Tour victory and his first since the 2010 Match Play. The win could not have come at a more opportune time.On reaching the quarter finals of the WGC Match Play last week, Poulter was informed that he had done enough to make the top-50 on the Official World Golf Ranking and so earn a spot in The Masters. He was then told that a mistake had been made and that he actually needed to win his quarter final match against Kevin Kisner to make it to Augusta. He lost 8&6.

Ian Poulter celebrates

Ian Poulter celebrates

"Last week was painful," he said. "To come here this week, I was tired. I was frustrated on Thursday. ... I was patient. I waited my time. And this is amazing."

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With the win, Poulter has climbed back into the top-30 on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Jordan Spieth finished strongly in Houston with a 66. He tied for third with Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo. It was Spieth’s best finish on this season’s PGA Tour. When Spieth won the Masters in 2015, he finished tied second in this event.

Jordan Spieth finished third in Houston

Jordan Spieth finished third in Houston

"Goal accomplished for the week," Spieth said. "I've made some big strides from my last couple tournaments. I'm very excited for what next week holds."

Houston Open Golf Club of Houston, Humble, Texas 29 March – 1 April Purse: $7,000,000 Par: 72

1 Ian Poulter (Eng) 73 64 65 67 269 $1,260,000 2 Beau Hossler (USA) 65 68 69 67 269 $756,000 T3 Jordan Spieth (USA) 68 67 71 66 272 $406,000 T3 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 69 68 67 68 272 $406,000 5 Sam Ryder (USA) 66 68 71 68 273 $280,000 T6 Keith Mitchell (USA) 67 71 67 69 274 $243,250 T6 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 68 68 69 69 274 $243,250 T8 Matt Every (USA) 67 70 72 66 275 $182,000 T8 Julian Suri (USA) 66 69 73 67 275 $182,000 T8 Abraham Ancer (Mex) 68 66 72 69 275 $182,000 T8 Matt Kuchar (USA) 68 68 69 70 275 $182,000 T8 Russell Henley (USA) 69 71 70 65 275 $182,000 T8 Paul Dunne (Ire) 64 71 69 71 275 $182,000

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?