Saturday, April 29, 2017


Russell Henley fired a best round-of-the-day 65 to win the Shell Houston Open and secure a last-minute invitation to the Masters.

The American shot 10 birdies in his final 18 holes to finish three strokes clear of overnight leader Sung Kang from South Korea, with Rickie Fowler and Luke List a further shot back in a share of third.

Victory booked Henley the final place in the field for the opening major of the year at Augusta, giving the Georgia native his fourth Masters appearance in five years.

The threat of bad weather saw tee times brought forward in Houston, where Kang took a three-shot lead over Fowler into the final day. Kang – who was six clear of the field after 36 holes – rolled in a 20-footer at the fourth, where Fowler lost ground with a bogey, having already double-bogeyed the second.

Sung Kang lead the field in Houston by six shots after 36 holes but could not sustain his challenge on Sunday

Henley started the final round four strokes back, but moved alongside Kang with five birdies in a seven-hole stretch along the front nine. The American double-bogeyed the ninth, after three-putting from 30 feet to reach the turn one behind Kang, but moved back tied-top with a 15-foot gain at the 10th.

Henley claimed the outright advantage with a close-range birdie at the 12th, and extended his lead with a 35-footer at the par-three next. A birdie-four at the 15th was followed by another at the 17th, to leave Henley four clear heading to the last, where he could afford a closing bogey and still secure a third PGA Tour title.

Kang ended level par and List picked up shots on his final two holes to tie third with Fowler, who fired four birdies in the space of six holes on the back nine. English pair Andy Sullivan and Justin Rose posted closing 70s to finish joint-15th.


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