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Monday, April 1, 2013 - Page updated at 08:30 p.m.
D.A. Points wins Houston Open on PGA Tour | Golf
By The Associated Press
HUMBLE, Texas — D.A. Points arrived at the Houston Open having failed to break 70 in his last nine rounds on the PGA Tour. He had missed the cut in seven of nine tournaments this year, tying for 63rd and 68th in the two other events.
But the 36-year-old closed with a 6-under-par 66 Sunday to post his second career victory. After a delay of almost three hours because of thunderstorms, Points returned and made four pars for a 16-under 272 total. He beat Henrik Stenson (66) and Billy Horschel (66) by one stroke.
Points made a 13-foot putt on the final hole at Redstone to avoid a playoff. He earned $1.116 million and a berth in the Masters, which starts April 11 at Augusta National in Georgia.
"I never count myself out," Points said. "I never just chalk it up like, 'Oh, this year is over with.' I've never felt like that.
"I was just grinding, just trying to wait and try to find that one thing that's like, 'Boom! There it is.' And there I go. Fortunately, it was this week and I capitalized on it."
Points' 5-iron shot to the 17th green was about 40 yards short of his target but he chipped the ball up to tap-in range. On No. 18, he hit a hybrid shot from 231 yards that nearly went into a bunker. This chip came up shorter than he would have liked, but the putt was true.
"I've been having a really tough year," Points said. "To have a putt to win, you want that starting out every week. I would have liked for it to have been closer."
Stenson moves up to No. 42 in the Official World Golf Ranking and thus has a berth in the Masters.
"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."
Dustin Johnson (65) and Ben Crane (68) tied for fourth place at 14 under.
Johnson had the lead before missing a short birdie putt on the 11th hole and hitting a 5-wood shot into the water on No. 12, leading to a bogey.
Stewart Cink and Bill Haas were tied for the lead entering the final round. Cink (70) tied for sixth place at 13 under and Haas (72) tied for 10th at 11 under.
Charles Howell III (66) tied for 10th and was four shots from where he needed to finish to earn a Masters berth. Howell, who grew up in Augusta, has failed to qualify in three of the past four years.
"I'm not going down the road of disappointment," Howell said. "I played good. I would love to be in the golf tournament. So would 300 million other golfers. I played well this year and I'm going to watch the tournament on TV.
"It's just horrible to watch on TV, to be honest."
• Marcel Siem of Germany won the Hassan II Trophy, a European Tour event in Agadir, Morocco, but he failed to qualify for the Masters because he isn't ranked among the top 50 in the world; he is at No. 51.
Siem, 32, closed with a 2-under 70 for a 17-under 271 total. He earned $319,858 for the victory.
Mikko Ilonen (69) of Finland and David Horsey (69) of England tied for second at 14 under.
• Four players were added to the Masters field — Points, Stenson, Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden and Richard Sterne of South Africa.
Jacobson and Sterne did not compete last weekend.
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