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Golf: D.A. Points wins Houston Open, trip to Masters

Published March 31, 2013 8:07 pm

Golf • Illinois native sinks 12-foot putt to avoid playoff.
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Humble, Texas • D.A. Points came back from a long rain delay and made four pars, the last one giving him a one-shot victory in the Houston Open and a trip to the Masters.

With a putter he once borrowed from his mother and never returned, Points rolled in a putt from just outside 12 feet on the final hole to polish off a 6-under 66 and avoid a sudden-death playoff with Masters-bound Henrik Stenson and Billy Horschel.

It was quite a turnaround for Points, whose only other PGA Tour win was at Pebble Beach two years ago with actor Bill Murray along for the laughs.

Points started the year by missing the cut seven times in nine tournaments. The Illinois native arrived at Redstone Golf Club having not broken 70 in his last nine rounds. But he stayed in the hunt after opening with a 64, and he kept his calm after a rain delay of nearly three hours.

"Thank you for staying," Points said to the sparse gallery in the bleachers as he walked off the green.

Stenson birdied his last two holes for a 66 before the storms rolled across Houston, and while he came up one shot short, he moved up to No. 42 in the world ranking to earn an invitation to the Masters. Horschel was on the 18th tee when play was halted, and then had to wait some more for his turn to hit on the tough driving hole. He split the middle, found the green and two-putted for par to join Stenson in the clubhouse lead.

They waited around for a playoff that wasn't necessary when Points saved par on his last two holes.

"I've been having a really tough year," Points said. "To have a putt to win, you want that starting out every week."

Points picked up his final birdie on the par-5 13th when the hole got in the way of his chip and kept the ball from running well past. It instead stopped 3 feet away.

He finished at 16-under 272, and the win gives him another two-year exemption. His exemption from the Pebble Beach would have expired this year. More important, the win gets him back to Augusta National in two weeks.

Twenty players were separated by four shots going into the final round, and it stayed that way for a while, with a dozen players poised to make a run and seize control as the storm clouds gathered.

Phil Mickelson opened his final round with four straight birdies, and he was still in the picture until a three-putt double bogey on the 14th hole. He had a 68 and wound up six shots behind. —

Leaderboard

Houston Open

D.A. Points -16

Billy Horschel -15

Henrik Stenson -15

Also

Daniel Summerhays -6 —

Houston Open champ, runner-up among four added to Masters field

Henrik Stenson didn't get the trophy at the Houston Open. He gladly settled for an invitation to the Masters. Stenson, who eight months ago was No. 133 in the world, closed with a 6-under 66 on Sunday and was the leader in the clubhouse when the final round was delayed because of thunderstorms. D.A. Points closed with four pars and wound up with a one-shot victory. Points and Stenson were among four players added to the field at Augusta National — Points as a PGA Tour winner, Stenson for getting into the top 50 in the world. Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden and Richard Sterne of South Africa got into the Masters by being in the top 50. Neither played this week.

The Associated Press