European Ryder Cup menace Ian Poulter topped Beau Hossler in a playoff to win the Houston Open and earn a spot in this week's Masters. Poulter birdied the challenging 18th at the Golf Club of Houston to card a 5-under 67 and force a playoff. Full scores
The win came one week after Poulter was misinformed that he had done enough at the WGC-Dell Match Play to move inside the top 50 and earn a Masters berth. Due to the mistake and failing to qualify for the Masters through the berth, Poulter decided to play at Houston and made it to Augusta. Now that Poulter is in the field, he has to be considered a threat to contend. In his twelve appearances at Augusta, he's finished in the top 20 six times.
Someone had to lose
Yesterday, it was Beau Hossler who tracked down Poulter on the back nine with birdies on 12, 13, 14 and 15. Hossler made par on the difficult 18th in regulation, but after Poulter holed his lengthy birdie try, the momentum was lost. Despite not earning a Masters berth, Hossler moves to a career-high 88th in the world rankings and assures his card for the 2018-2019 season. To read more about Hossler, check out our profile on him here.
Rounding into form
Jordan Spieth surged on Sunday with a final-round 66 to finish in a tie for 3rd. Spieth put on a clinic from tee to green, leading the field in strokes gained: approach and tee-to-green. While his putting woes continued, his tee-to-green performance was a promising sign leading into the Masters.
How did the other contenders fare?
Henrik Stenson (-14) t6th
Phil Mickelson (-10) t24th
Rickie Fowler (-8) t43rd
Justin Rose (-7) t52nd
And now, onto the Masters
It's Masters week! For all things Masters, be sure to bookmark our Masters page for the latest articles, podcasts and other related content. Here's the latest...
The Augusta Archives
To really revel in the excitement of the Masters, check out our new podcast series that features former contenders. 1982 Masters champion Craig Stadler, last year's low-amateur Stewart Hagestad and 1996 U.S. Am runner-up Steve Scott join the pod to talk Augusta National and tell tales from their time at the Masters. As always, listen to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or the website.
Craig Stadler - iTunes, Stitcher, and website
Stewart Hagestad - iTunes, Stitcher and website
Steve Scott - iTunes, Stitcher, and website
Talking your ear off...
I also appeared on the latest No Laying Up podcast to talk about Augusta National, the challenges it presents and its evolution over the years.
Renaming Augusta National
Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie named Augusta National's holes after the plants that inhabited the property before the course existed. But, what if they were named after the people who made history there instead?
Paulie has advice for this week's Millionaire Maker and one-and-done leagues. Find his picks and strategy for each here.
Five longshots to watch
These five players have high odds but could surprise everyone this week.
The rest of the golf world
Sam Burns fired a final-round 65 and a back-nine 30 to beat Roberto Castro by one shot at the Web.com Tour's Savannah Golf Championship. Full scores
The finish to the LPGA's first major of the year was delayed because of darkness. The tournament ended in a three-way tie between Inbee Park, Jennifer Song and Pernilla Lindberg. After three holes, Song was eliminated, leaving Park and Lindberg to play in the dark. The pair tied the hole with pars, and officials were forced to postpone play to this morning at 11 am EST.
Campus Update with Will Knights
One of the country's longest running college tournaments, The Goodwin, finished this last weekend. Oklahoma won the team event with All American Norman Xiong winning individually. Xiong's was dominant in his victory, winning by 6 strokes. Brad Dalke and Collin Morikawa also finished in the top 5.
Out east, the 3M Augusta Invitational wrapped up with the same results as last year. The Illinois Fighting Illini won the team portion and Dylan Meyer won individually. This is Meyers first victory of the spring and the Illini's second victory in a row.