• Shell Houston Open, Round Four

Points claims Houston Open as Westwood fades

ESPN staff
March 31, 2013
DA Points was delighted at the 18th © AP

Shell Houston Open Leaderboard

DA Points held his nerve to claim the Shell Houston Open title by a single stroke as Lee Westwood's challenge faded and Rory McIlroy toiled after another bright start in the rain-affected final round at Redstone.

Having overhauled overnight leaders Stewart Cink and Bill Haas, Points was sat at the top of a tightly-packed leaderboard on 16-under at the 14th when play was suspended as a thunderstorm rolled in across the Texas course.

The American, who arrived at Redstone with his mother's putter in an effort to jump-start his form on the greens, made par on the final hole to finish one shot clear of Henrik Stenson and Billy Horschel.

Westwood, who began the day two shots off the lead, bogeyed the 17th to finish in a tie for 10th place on 11-under, while McIlroy finished in joint-45th on four-under.

The Northern Irishman had arrived at Redstone with the chance to regain the world No. 1 ranking from Tiger Woods with victory, but after a tortuous first round he emerged with three rounds under par, some consolation ahead of The Masters.

The world No. 2 found the water twice in two holes on the start of his back nine, ruining any chances of a significant climb up the leaderboard. Despite finding the bunker on the tenth, McIlroy got up and down to save par, but it was the next two holes that scuppered any hopes of a miracle revival.

Having parred the 11th in his first three rounds, McIlroy found the water for bogey before repeating the feat with his tee-shot on the 12th to drop back to two-under.

McIlroy again lacked consistency with his driver, with which he has struggled all week, finding the fairway bunker twice in successive tee-shots on the 13th and 14th before going out-of-bounds at the par-five 15th. However, McIlroy managed to save par on all three before ending his final round strongly with two birdies in the last two holes, holing a 24-foot putt on the last to card a 70.

"There are a lot of positives to take from it," McIlroy said. "I've learned a few things as well that I can bring into next week and obviously looking ahead to Augusta, too. It's been a productive week."

Points' victory in Houston, just his second PGA Tour win, seals his place at Augusta National. The 36-year-old had missed seven of his last nine cuts but led after the first round and carded six birdies on Sunday for the title.

"It's been a really tough year, a tough start," Points said. "To have a putt to win - you want that starting out every week. I would have liked it to be a little closer, but I've been putting really well."

Cink and Haas started the final day as joint leaders but floundered during the final round, Cink finishing with a bogey when an eagle would have been enough to force a play-off with Points.

Stenson bogeyed the 13th to give himself a mountain to climb, but birdies at four of the final five holes saw him finish runner-up with Horschel, who moved up to second with five birdies on the front nine.

England's Brian Davis carded a final-round 67 to finish in a tie for sixth, one shot behind Americans Dustin Johnson and Ben Crane. Davis started by holing a 15-footer for birdie on the second, eventually notching five more birdies before a solitary bogey on the 17th left him too far behind to challenge for victory.

Phil Mickelson flew out of the blocks with four birdies in his first four holes, showing plenty of promise ahead of The Masters. However, a double-bogey on the par-three 14th cancelled out two further birdies on the back nine to leave the three-time Masters champion on ten-under-par, carding a final round of 68.

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