Planet Golf — 31 March 2013 by GW staff and news services
D.A. Points wins; Masters bound

HUMBLE, Texas — D.A. Points came back from a long rain delay and made four pars. The last one gave him a one-shot victory in the Shell Houston Open and sent him to the Masters.

Points closed with a 6-under 66 on Sunday, saving par on the last two holes at Redstone Golf Club to outlast Masters-bound Henrik Stenson and Billy Horschel. The final round was halted for nearly three hours because of storms that soaked the golf course.

Points, who picked up 500 FedExCup points with the win, kept alive the streak of Americans winning all 14 events on the PGA Tour this year.
The victory gives Points a spot in the Masters, just like his only other victory did two years ago at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with actor Bill Murray as his partner.

Leaderboard: D.A. Points 64-71-71-66—272 (-16); Henrik Stenson  69-70-68-66—273 (-15); Billy Horschel 68-72-67-66—273 (-15); Ben Crane 69-70-67-68—274 (-14); Dustin Johnson  69-70-70-65—274 (-14)

D.A. Points

— With this victory:

*Victory comes in his 189th PGA Tour start at the age of 36 years, 3 months and 30 days.

* Collects 500 FedExCup points and moves from No. 200 to No. 19  in the standings with 510 total points.

* Claims his second Tour victory (2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, 2013 Shell Houston Open).

* Extends exempt status on the PGA Tour through 2015.

* Earns a return trip to this year’s Masters Tournament. In only other appearance at Augusta National, missed the cut in 2011.

* Becomes sixth player in his 30s to win this season (8 wins), compared to two in their 20s and two in 40s.

* Win is 16th straight by an American on Tour, dating to Tommy Gainey’s win at 2012 McGladrey Classic.

* Win extends the streak of American winners since the start of the 2013 season to 14 in a row, surpassing the run of 13 straight winners from the United States in 1989.

* After opening with 8-under 64, becomes the fourth first-round leader to go on to win this season, joining Dustin Johnson/Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Phil Mickelson/Waste Management Phoenix Open, Tiger Woods/WGC-Cadillac Championship.

* Victory comes in his sixth start at the Shell Houston Open (T70-2006, T14-2009, T62-2010, T60-2011, MC-2012, 1st-2013).

* Points’ season at a glance with a win: 10 starts, 3 made cuts, 1 win, 1 top-10, 1 top-25.

Henrik Stenson

 

* Records his best finish in a PGA Tour event since his victory in 2009 Players.

* T2 performance vaults him into the Top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking and earns him a spot in the Masters Tournament for the eighth-consecutive season. Would have also earned a spot with a 13th place finish or better this week.

* Previous-best Tour finish this season – T8/Arnold Palmer Invitational last week.

* Is one of eight Swedish players with victories on the PGA Tour, joining Jesper Parnevik, Carl Pettersson, Gabriel Hjertstedt, Daniel Chopra, Mathias Gronberg, Richard S. Johnson and Jonas Blixt.

* Previous finishes at the Shell Houston Open (T3-2009, T21-2012, T2-2013).

* Stenson’s season at a glance with a win: 5 starts, 4 made cuts, 2 top-10s, 2 top-25s.

Billy Horschel

* Records his best career finish on the PGA Tour. Previous-best was a third at the 2012 True South Classic.

* In only other appearance at the Shell Houston Open (MC-2011).

* Horschel’s season at a glance with a win: 9 starts, 9 made cuts, 2 top-10s, 3 top-25s.

* Extended his Tour-leading consecutive-cuts made streak to 20 this week.

Tournament Notes:

 

— The third-round leader/co-leader has now gone on to win nine of 11 stroke-play events this season, including four of the last five events (Michael Thompson-The Honda Classic, Scott Brown-Puerto Rico Open, Tiger Woods-WGC-Cadillac Championship, Kevin Streelman-Tampa Bay Championship, Woods-Arnold Palmer Invitational).

— This marked the fourth time this year  that two players have been tied for the 54-hole lead. Russell Henley was tied after three rounds of the Sony Open in Hawaii and went on to win. Brandt Snedeker and James Hahn were tied after three rounds of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and Snedeker went on to win. Luke Guthrie and Michael Thompson were tied through three rounds of the Honda Classic and Thompson went on to victory. On Sunday, co-leader Stewart Cink and Bill Haas finished T6 and T10 respectively.

— 54-hole leaders have won the Shell Houston Open four of the last five years and 10 times since 2000.

— D.A. Points came from one stroke off the pace to win today. The biggest come-from-behind win at the Shell Houston Open since it’s been played at Redstone Golf Club is three shots by Adam Scott in 2007.

— Third-round co-leader Stewart Cink finished T6 in his attempt to win his first PGA TOUR event since the 2009 Open Championship. It was Cink’s best performance in a stroke-play event since he was T6 at the 2009 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He had just two bogeys (No. 14 on Saturday/No. 18 on Sunday) during the week at Redstone.

— Third-round co-leader Bill Haas finished T10 in his attempt to join father Jay as the first-ever father-son winner of the Shell Houston Open. Jay won the tournament in 1987 at The Woodlands.

—  Keegan Bradley’s downhill 14-foot birdie putt on the final hole pushed him up into a T10 finish at this year’s Shell Houston Open. It was Bradley’s four consecutive top 10 dating back to his T4 at The Honda Classic.

— Dustin Johnson made a final-round charge with a 7-under 65, the low round of the day, to finish T4, his best finish since winning the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Of players currently in their 20s, Johnson owns the most wins with seven, followed by Rory McIlroy (6), Anthony Kim (3), Webb Simpson (3) and Keegan Bradley (3).

— Jason Kokrak finished ninth for his first top-10 finish since a T8 at the Humana Challenge in late January.

— Brian Davis finished T6 for his first top 10 since a T4 at the 2012 Travelers Championship, 21 starts later.

— Kevin Chappell had missed his last five cuts leading into the Shell Houston Open. A T6 finish this week is his first top-10 since a T8 at the Humana Challenge in his first start of the season.  This week represents his best finish since a T3 at the 2011 Children’s Miracle Network Classic and just his seventh career top 10.

— Steve Wheatcroft shot a final-round 74 and finished T22 in his bid to become just the third Monday Qualifier to win on the PGA TOUR in the last 27 years: Arjun Atwal/2010 Wyndham Championship and Fred Wadsworth/1986 Southern Open.

— Phil Mickelson was T16 in his ninth start at the Shell Houston Open. Including weekend rounds of 67-68, Mickelson’s last 14 rounds at the Shell Houston Open have been at par-or-better. During that stretch, he had finished T35 (2010), 1st (2011), T4 (2012) and T16 (2013). Mickelson’s last over-par score in this event was a 76 in Round 2 in 2010.

— Rory McIlroy, who recently fell to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, finished T45 in his third start at the Shell Houston Open (2009-T19, 2010-MC, 2013-T45).

— Defending champion Hunter Mahan missed the cut this week in his attempt to become the 10th multiple winner of the Shell Houston Open, led by three-time winners Curtis Strange and Vijay Singh. The most recent multiple winner is two-time champion Stuart Appleby (1999, 2006).

— Jeff Maggert missed the cut this week in his 25th start at the Shell Houston Open, tied for second-most starts at the event and trailing only John Mahaffey (26). He has competed in the last 24 events, dating to 1990. Of six top-10 finishes (most recent T6 in 2010), he has finished runner-up three times (1994, 1996, 1998).

— Playing part-time in 2013, Steve Stricker finished T38 at the Shell Houston Open in just his fourth TOUR start of the year. This week marked the first time he has failed to record a top-5 finish this season. Stricker owns two runner-up finishes (Hyundai Tournament of Champions, WGC-Cadillac Championship) and a T5 (WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship) in 2013.

— Stricker credits a sponsor exemption from the Shell Houston Open in 2006 for helping to resurrect his career after he dropped as low as No. 331 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He finished third at the 2006 Shell Houston Open and posted six top 10s the rest of the way to earn  Comeback Player of the Year. Since 2007, he is one of just three players (Hunter Mahan and Phil Mickelson) to compete in every Tour Championship.

— Nine Shell Houston Open winners have won a total of 17 Masters titles. The last of the group was Phil Mickelson who won in Houston in 2011 and has won the Masters in 2004, 2006 and 2010. Only Gary Player won the Masters and the Shell Houston Open in the same year (1978).

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