HUMBLE, Texas – Russell Henley came from behind on Sunday afternoon with a final round 65 at the Shell Houston Open to claim his third PGA Tour victory. Henley carded 10 birdies, which he was surprised to learn afterwards, a double on the par-3 ninth, and a bogey on 18 in route to a 72-hole score of 20-under, three strokes better than Sung Kang who led for the first three rounds.
“I made 10 birdies today?
“Oh, wow. Wow. Yeah. Then I guess it’s definitely the best (round).”
Henley has now had 13-straight rounds under par at the Golf Club of Houston and said after the final round that he enjoys the course – particularly how well manicured it is.
“Yeah. I mean, it’s one of the best manicured courses on Tour. It’s so green. It’s perfect in every spot,” said Henley after his win. “There aren’t really any spots in the fairway where it’s thinner in one spot and then another spot the grass is a little longer and more lush. Very consistent throughout and the greens have always been just spectacular.
“I just — I think it’s definitely one of the best. I don’t think there’s really one that I would say is better on Tour.
“I think that gives me confidence knowing the greens are really smooth.”
Henley will now head to Augusta and prepare for a fourth Masters appearance. In three Masters he has finished as high as 21st in 2015
Sung Kang’s putting through the first two rounds was outstanding, but he finished the weekend with a disappointing 71-72 as the weather conditions fluctuated on Sunday. Kang, who was playing alongside Fowler and Henley, may have added a little bit of fuel for the crowd to cheer for the other two guys in his group when he said of Houston, “It’s Texas. There isn’t anything here. Just like Dallas, there isn’t anything, really.”
Just behind Henley and Kang were Luke List and Rickie Fowler at 16-under. Fowler struggled on the back nine, especially 15-18 where he was six-over after the first three rounds, but got things going on Sunday with a back nine 32.
He enters Augusta next week with a win under his belt this season and off a solid performance this week.
“[F]or me I come here as prep for next week and I did, you know, as much as I wanted to, if not more. Winning would have been a bonus for sure and obviously that’s what I would have liked to have done,” said Fowler.
“To come out of here in a better mindset than I was going in, feeling good about the work that we did, and being able to, like I said, king of turn things around out there when I knew there was something off and was able to figure that out and get it going.”
And now, finally, the golf world will now descend on Augusta for the first major of the year.