By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM correspondent
Carl Pettersson's previously hot
putter cooled on Sunday
– What did Hunter Mahan do best on Sunday in winning the
Shell Houston Open? He hit 16 greens but also took 33 putts. His
greatest asset was patience. He was comfortable making pars on the
first eight holes before finally rolling in a birdie at the ninth.
Mahan was by far the steadiest player in the field, making just two
bogeys the entire week and leading the tournament in greens in
regulation, hitting 62 of 72.
Tough pin placement:
Players took one look at hole
locations for the final round and knew they were in for a tough
day. Eight holes were cut within four paces of the edges of greens,
including just three paces from the edge at the 13th hole. With
tough hole locations, combined with wind and a rapidly drying golf
course, Redstone Golf Club played to a final-round stroke average
of 72.8, its highest of the week.
Shot of the day:
The tournament was on the line as
Hunter Mahan had missed the 16th green. He seemingly had little
chance at getting it close but flopped a shot right down the fall
line of the putting surface that stopped 15 inches from the cup.
The par save gave him some cushion for the final two holes.
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley like to
play practice rounds together and compare techniques, but they took
things to the extreme on Sunday. In the final round they both shot
71, hit 10 fairways, hit 12 greens and took 30 putts while sharing
Phil Mickelson played the par 5s in 14
under while winning the Shell Houston Open in 2011. This year,
Lefty played the same holes in 6 under. “It was a totally
different golf course this year. It was wet and you could not reach
the par 5s in two. Last year I was hitting 4- and 5-irons into
greens; I could not reach today,” Mickelson said.
A combination of bad swings and bad
luck hurt Louis Oosthuizen in the final round. The South African
drove into a divot at the fifth hole and ended up making double
bogey. Oosthuizen added another double at the eighth and was out in
41 even though he did not miss a fairway on the front nine.
Carl Pettersson rode his putter all
week long. He took 28 putts in Round 1, 27 in Round 2 and 28 in the
third round. That same putter was balky on Sunday when it mattered
most. Pettersson could not convert makeable putts of 11 feet at the
16th and 20 feet at the 18th. He had 31 strokes in the final round
and still finished second in the tournament in Strokes
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
and is inside the ropes this week at the Shell Houston Open. For
more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio,