Fans showed off their crazy socks on Saturday at the Shell Houston Open, honoring President George H.W. and Mrs. Bush for their continuing good work in the Houston community. It's a tribute to the President's humor and his love of the game.
Click here to view a photo gallery of the best socks and discuss below.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
D.A. Points' victory Sunday in Houston earned him more than just 500 FedExCup points. He's going to the Masters.
It will be the second trip down Magnolia Lane for Points, who last played at Augusta National in 2011. He missed the cut that year.
With the completion of the Shell Houston Open on Sunday, the field is now set for the year's first major (except for the winner of this week's Valero Texas Open, provided he's not already in the field).
Henrik Stenson also earned an invite, moving from 53rd to 42nd in the Official World Golf Rankings following his tie for second in Houston.
His best finish at Augusta National was a tie for 17th in 2007 and 2008.
Freddie Jacobson and Richard Sterne also secured spots in the field. Despite neither having played last week, both stayed in the top 50 in the OWGR at 47th and 49th, respectively.
Augusta, Ga., native Charles Howell III, however, will miss out for the fourth time in five years.
Howell needed to finish fifth or better in Houston. He tied for 10th.
Geoff Ogilvy will also be watching from home. The former U.S. Open champion missed the cut in Houston and dropped from 50th to 55th in the world.
By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Many experts would say that the use of his mother’s putter led to his recent victory. Others might state that it was a putting tip from Lamar University golf coach Brian White. My belief is that D.A. Points won the Shell Houston Open because of “cheesy grins.”
Points mentioned that he was flashing “cheesy grins” to his caddie, Travis Perkins, on the course and those expressions made them crack each other up. But more importantly, according to Points, those “cheesy grins” also kept him loose under the intense pressure of chasing his second PGA TOUR victory.
D.A. Points was feeling the pressure to keep his job. He had missed nearly 50 percent of the cuts (29/60) since his win at the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. This year had gotten worse with him missing seven in his last nine starts. The pressure was immense to play well down the stretch this week at the Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas.
The misunderstanding is that the elite players on the PGA TOUR do not get nervous. They do. They are just like you. Pressure is relative. We all feel nervous when the event is important to us. A victory would ensure that Points had a job for another year on the PGA TOUR.
One of the best ways to buffer the pressure is to have a mental game mechanism that keeps you loose when the muscles can get tight. This mechanism can come in many forms. It could be a fun self-statement like “easy-speezy”, and you say it every time you feel those butterflies forming. This mental mechanism could be an image of you sitting at your favorite beach drinking your favorite beverage. It can also be an action like making a “cheesy grin”.
Don’t hide your head in the sand when it comes to pressure on the course. The first step in beating the nerves out of your game is to realize that you will feel the heat. That is natural, from the best in the world to the worst.
Once you accept that anxiety will show up, then be prepared with a mental mechanism to keep you loose. You may want to try a grin, or a wry smile, or a beefy chuckle. Make the cheese optional.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf. He is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the Tour” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. Dr. Gregg is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players. You can see more about him at www.drgreggsteinberg.com, and you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org for any comments or questions about your mental game.
Dustin Johnson led the field in driving distance at nearly 320 yards at the Shell Houston Open.
|Shell Houston Open
||Winner: D.A. Points
|Driving Distance||284.0 (61st)||Dustin Johnson (319.4 yards)||T4|
|Driving Accuracy||64.29% (T31)||Russell Henley (82.14%)||T45
|Strokes Gained-Putting||1.140 (10th)||Billy Horschel (2.048)
|Greens in Regulation||79.17% (T10)||Cameron Tringale (83.33%)||T16|
|Proximity to Hole||37' 5" (40th)
||Greg Owen (29' 5")||T22|
|Scrambling||80.00% (5th)||Graham DeLaet (87.50%)||T31
WEEKLY PERFORMANCE STATS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open in Hawaii
Week 4: Farmers Insurance Open
Week 5: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Week 7: Northern Trust Open
Week 8: The Honda Classic
Week 9: WGC Cadillac & Puerto Rico Open
Phil Mickelson put a driver back in his bag on Sunday and hit seven of 14 fairways. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HUMBLE, Texas -- D.A. Points retained his touch through more than a 2-hour rain delay in winning the Shell Houston Open.
Redstone Golf Club received more than an inch of rain and it was a guessing game with how much the conditions changed. Points was immediately tested with a 43-yard chip on the 17th hole that he hit to within 2 feet and then made a 13-foot putt on the final green for the tournament-winning par.
Points reasoned the greens retained moisture following the rain so he switched from a gap wedge to a pitching wedge on the 17th hole and played a little less break on the final putt. He opened with a 64 and closed with a 66. D.A. was on point the entire week.
Putter: Points took just 23 putts in the opening round and then followed with 32 putts in each of the next two rounds. Points maintained he was still rolling the ball well, but it was just a matter of time until the putts fell. They started dropping on the second hole where he made a 6-footer but it was the 29-foot putt at the third hole that really gave him confidence. For the remainder of the round every putt had a chance to go in the cup.
Strong finish: Henrik Stenson finished strong with birdies on the last two holes. His play on the 18th hole was textbook. He drove it 279 yards and the approach from 133 yards landed within 12 feet of the cup and he made the putt. To birdie both the 17th and 18th holes was tremendous play under pressure, and he qualified for the Masters in the process.
Long ball: Dustin Johnson “over-performed” on Sunday. He made bogeys at both the 14th and 17th holes because he hit it too well. At the 14th, Johnson hit a 5- iron from 223 yards that flew the green and led to bogey. At the 17th hole, he hit a 177-yard 9-iron that covered the flag but also went too far. Johnson made two bogeys hitting what he thought were perfect shots.
Bad start: Steve Wheatcroft had so much riding on the final round and he began in miserable fashion with a double bogey at the first hole. He hit his approach into the wind and it stood straight up in the air, then dropped vertically into the bunker creating a terrible lie. Wheatcroft had no chance with the bunker shot, then sent a chip 6 feet by the cup and missed that for a 6. It was a disappointing start and Wheatcroft did not hide his emotions. As soon as he saw his lie in the bunker his body language was terrible for the remainder of the hole. He did birdie the second but never really rebounded from the bad start by shooting a 74. He went from a tie for third at the start of the final round to a 22nd-place finish.
Low one: Phil Mickelson predicted he had a “low one” in him for the final round and he was accurate. Unfortunately, it was not low enough. Mickelson birdied the first four holes to get to 10 under par but could not sustain the momentum. He ripped off eight straight pars before a birdie at the 13th but followed that with a double bogey on the 14th. He played 1 under on the remaining four holes to finish 10 under.
3-wood: Mickelson played the first three rounds of the tournament carrying a pair of 3-woods and no driver. He put driver in play on Sunday and hit seven of 14 fairways. Mickelson will experiment with a new deep face driver from Callaway before committing to what clubs he will carry at the Masters.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here
D.A. Points made a clutch 13-foot par putt on the final hole to win the Shell Houston Open on Sunday.
By PGATOUR.COM wire reports
HUMBLE, Texas -- D.A. Points came back from a long rain delay and made four pars. The last one gave him a one-shot victory in the Shell Houston Open and sent him to the Masters.
Points closed with a 6-under 66 on Sunday, saving par on the last two holes at Redstone Golf Club to outlast Masters-bound Henrik Stenson and Billy Horschel. The final round was halted for nearly three hours because of storms that soaked the golf course.
Points, who picked up 500 FedExCup points with the victory, kept alive the streak of Americans winning all 14 events on the PGA TOUR this year.
The victory gives Points a spot in the Masters, just like his only other victory did two years ago at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with actor Bill Murray as his partner.
By PGATOUR.COM staff
The final round of the Shell Houston Open will resume at 7:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. CT). Golf Channel will televise the finish.
Twelve players remain on the golf course at Redstone Golf Club, with D.A. Points clinging to a one-shot lead at 16 under.
Play is expected to be completed this evening.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HUMBLE Texas -- No matter what happens, Henrik Stenson will walk away from the Shell Houston Open with the one thing he wanted more than anything this week.
An invitation to the Masters.
When his ball hit the 18th green and settled 9 feet from the pin on Sunday -- forget about when it hit the bottom of the cup -- Stenson knew that was it. He would earn enough world ranking points – inside the top 50 -- to get into the field for the first major of the year.
“Obviously very happy coming -- as I said to my caddie, walking up 18 no matter what, we're playing for a green jacket in a couple of weeks,’’ he said. “That will be nice. That was the main goal coming here. And when I played as well as I did, put myself in a good position, I'm still trying to do well here and then give myself a chance to win this tournament.
“Whether that's going to happen or not, we'll see, but very pleasing finish, four birdies in the last five holes. Some great shots coming down the stretch.’’
Stenson, who started the week ranked 53rd in the world, finished just before play was suspended during the final round due to a thunderstorm that hit the area.
The finish –- those four birdies in the last five holes -– and that 9-foot birdie on the 72nd hole made him the leader in the clubhouse at 15 under. Billy Horschel is still on the course at 15 under with one hole left, while D.A. Points is at 16 under with four holes to play. Jason Kokrak, who is looking for his first win, is 14 under through 15 holes, while Ben Crane, Stewart Cink and Kevin Chappell are at various points on the back nine at 13 under.
Stenson., whose last win came at THE PLAYERS Championship in 2009, finished T8 at last week’s rain-delayed Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. Now he’s potentially facing another Monday finish.
Stenson said he played sensible Sunday on his way to a closing 66.
“Didn't make too many mistakes,’’ Stenson said. “The only real bad one was on 15, bogeyed a par 5, hit a poor tee shot. Left it in the bad spot in the trap. Had the layup short of the hazard and couldn't get on the green. Only bad one of the day.
“But I came back straight off by hitting a 6-iron to half a foot on 14 and to great 3-wood to the green on 15 to birdie that one and then 17 and 18, four great shots and two birdies.’’
Now, Stenson waits. He’s done and has to wait for a dozen other players to finish either Sunday or Monday morning.
“I mean, I hope I get a chance to get back out there, it's a playoff at least,’’ he said. “I'll take that from here on when you're behind the year, take my chances in a playoff. We'll have to see.”