Points holds on to win Houston Open golf

D.A. Points stayed steady after a lengthy rain delay, firing a six-under par 66 for a one-stroke victory in the $6.2 million US PGA Tour Houston Open.

D.A. Points celebrates his par putt on the 18th green during the final round of the Houston Open in Texas on March 31, 2013. He stayed steady after a lengthy rain delay, firing a six-under par 66 for a one-stroke victory in the $6.2 million event.

Points was on the course at 16-under with four holes to finish -- one shot in front of clubhouse leader Henrik Stenson -- when a thunderstorm halted final round play.

The American player came back after a delay of almost three hours and parred his way in, celebrating with a shout and fist-pump when his 13-foot par putt dropped at 18 to give him a 16-under winning total of 272.

"To have a putt to win, you want that starting out every week," said Points, who has endured a difficult season that included missing seven of nine cuts.

The win gives Points a place in the Masters, as did his only prior PGA Tour triumph at Pebble Beach two years ago.

"I was in a real good flow before the rain delay, I was kind of firing on all cylinders," Points said. "I'm real proud of myself that the rain delay didn't put any hitch in that."

Points had parred three holes after the rain delay before a wobble at 18, where his second shot just missed a bunker right of the green.

He chipped to 13 feet, and rolled in the putt to avoid a playoff with Stenson and Horschel.

"I would have liked to have been a little closer, but I've been putting well and I just thought you know what, just whatever happens, happens," Points said. "Just hit a good putt and you can't control the breaks."

Sweden's Stenson had birdied four of his last five holes to seize the clubhouse lead before the delay.

Stenson, a former top-five player whose effort enabled him to qualify for the Masters, carded a six-under par 66 to finish 72 holes on 15-under 273.

"To be heading back to Augusta is really special for me. I'm extremely happy with what I've done," Stenson said. "It's a very pleasing finish to birdie four of my last five holes. I played some great shots coming down the stretch."

American Billy Horschel was level with Stenson at 15-under with only the 18th hole remaining. He finished with a par to complete a 66 that left him tied for second.

Dustin Johnson was in the clubhouse with a 65 for 14-under 274 before the break, and was joined there by fellow American Ben Crane, who carded a 68.

"I played really well," Johnson said. "I played a lot better than that but I'm not complaining shooting 65 on Sunday."

American Jason Kokrak was 14-under through 15 holes when the horn sounded to stop play, with a dozen players on the course.

Kokrak couldn't keep pace, closing with a double-bogey at 18 to fall into ninth place.

In all, eight players had seized at least a share of the lead during the last-round shootout for the $1.08 million top prize.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, who could have reclaimed the World No. 1 ranking from Tiger Woods with a victory this week, matched his best round of the event with a two-under 70 to finish on 284.

He birdied the last two holes on both the front and back nines but consecutive bogeys at 11 and 12 set him back.

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Writer: AFP
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