Saturday, May 19, 2018

Points wins Houston Open

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 on Sunday.

With a putter he borrowed from his mother many years ago and never returned, Points rolled in a putt from just outside 12 feet on the final hole to polish off a final-round 6-under 66 for 16-under 272 and avoid a sudden-death playoff with Masters-bound Henrik Stenson (66) and former Gator Billy Horschel (66).

"I've been having a really tough year," said Points, 36, who started by missing the cut seven times in nine tournaments. "To have a putt to win, you want that starting out every week. I would have liked for it to have been closer."

Points' only other PGA Tour win was at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am two years ago with actor Billy Murray along for the laughs.

Stenson birdied his last two holes before the storms rolled across the area and caused a rain delay of nearly three hours. Though he didn't win, he moved up to No. 42 in the world ranking to earn an invitation to the Masters next week.

The top 50 in the world ranking after this weekend earn exemptions to the Masters.

"As I said to my caddie walking up 18, 'No matter what, we're playing for a green jacket in a couple of weeks,' '' Stenson said. "That will be nice. That was the main goal coming here."

Third-round co-leaders Stewart Cink (70) and Bill Haas (72) finished three and five shots back, respectively.

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 68 and wound up six shots behind.

Rory McIlroy was on his way north to San Antonio when the tournament ended. He closed by making a 25-foot birdie putt for 70 and a 4-under finish. McIlroy is playing the Texas Open this week before heading to the Masters.

more masters adds: Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden and Richard Sterne of South Africa got into the field by being in the top 50 at the weekend's end. Neither played this weekend.