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Points Wins Shell Houston Open

on 01 April 2013.

HUMBLE, Texas—D.A. Points used his mom’s old putter to win the Shell Houston Open after a 2 hour, 42 minute weather delay at Redstone Golf Club’s Tournament Course. The majority of golf fans left during the long delay, but several remained. After Points drained a 13-foot par putt on the final hole to win by one shot, Points turned and called to the crowd, “Thank you for staying!”

Just like his mom taught him to do.

Points began the SHO on fire, making birdie putts on his first five holes. He finished it steady as a rock, making pars on each of the final four holes after the long delay. He used an original Ping Anser that he took from his mother’s bag back when he was about 12 years old. It was a putter he used to win two state amateur titles in Illinois.

Now it’s won a PGA Tour event.

The mercurial Points posted 64-71-71-66 for 16-under-par 272 overall and cashes the $1.08 million first place check. Headed into the SHO, he had missed the cut in seven of nine starts.

“It’s been a tough start to the year,” said Points, who also won the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am. “To have a putt to win is what you want starting out every week. I would’ve liked it to be closer, but I’ve been putting well this week. I was in a good flow before the rain delay, and I’m proud that the delay didn’t putt a hitch in it.”

Henrick Stenson and Billy Horschel finished tied for second at 15-under. For Horschel, the SHO was his 20th straight made cut and first top-five finish.

For Stenson, it was even better. On a day when nine players held or shared the lead (Points, Stenson, Horschel, Bill Haas, Stewart Cink, Kevin Chappell, Dustin Johnson, Jason Kokrak and Ben Crane), the Swedish Stenson played his way into the Masters Tournament field.

Stenson started the week ranked 53rd in the world; the top 50 after the SHO are invited to the Masters, which will be played April 15-18. With a flurry of birdies coming in—Nos. 14, 15, 17 and 18—Stenson posted a final round 66 for 16-under par. He is projected to move up to the mid-40s in the World Rankings.

“I didn’t make too many mistakes,” said Stenson, who was ranked 232nd in the world last summer. “The only real bad one was on 15. I bogeyed a par 5, hit a poor tee shot…it was the only bad one of the day. But I came back straight off by hitting a 6-iron to half a foot on 14, and a great 3-wood to the green on 15 to birdie that one. Then 17 and 18: four great shots and two birdies.”

And a trip down Magnolia Lane.

Dustin Johnson and Ben Crane tied for fourth place. Johnson made a run before the weather delay, which came at 3:52 p.m. The long-hitting Johnson had seven birdies and an eagle in the final round, but also suffered two back-nine bogeys. Crane had a chance but failed to make any birdies on the final three holes after the delay.

Phil Mickelson teed off an hour before the leaders Sunday and got off to a red-hot start. On Saturday, after shooting 5-under 67, he told reporters he felt he had a “low round” in him for the final day. It certainly started out that way. Mickelson made birdie putts on his first four holes to get within a shot of the lead at the time.

He cooled off with eight straight pars before notching another birdie on the par-5 13th. The momentum was quelled quickly, however, after a three-putt bogey on the par-3 14th. Mickelson, the two-time Masters champion who played the first two rounds of the SHO without a driver, made a final birdie on the par-3 16th. His final round 68 left him in a tie for 16th at 10-under overall.

“I had a lot of fun today because I got off to the quick start,” Mickelson said. “After four holes, I felt the pressure of having an opportunity to win. It was a fun feeling. I love playing well here. Unfortunately, I didn’t do much after that.”

Former World No. 1 Rory McIlroy shot a final round 70 and tied for 45th place at 4-under par.

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