The world No1 91 Jim Herman will make his Masters debut after his first PGA Tour win at 38 in Houston
Jim Herman, who last week was ranked 191 in the world, has provided a Masters fairytale by clinching the Shell Houston Open and therefore the final spot in the 90 -man field at Augusta National. Hermans one-stroke triumph triggered tears and no wonder; this was the 38 -year-olds maiden victory on the PGA Tour.
Herman also had to clinch success the hard way. In Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson, he had golfing luminaries breathing down his neck throughout Sunday afternoon. Johnson fell by the wayside, finishing third, before Stenson had a final-green putt to tie with Herman. The Swedes effort slid agonisingly past much to his obvious incredulity with Herman stimulating par on the same, treacherous hole to ensure the happiest day of his professional life and a debut in the first major of the year.
Packing up and heading right to Augusta, its going to be a whirlwind the next four days, Herman said. I dont know how we did it. Its over but it still hasnt sunk in. I knew it wasnt going to be easy. I got a lot of texts and emails and tweets last night about this is your tournament to win, but there were so many great players out there and anything can happen in 18 holes.
Hermans three previous major appearances all came in the US Open, the last of them in 2013. The life-changing facet of events in Houston is highlighted by a cheque for $1.2 m, plus a series of exemptions for top events.
Stenson has now finished as runner-up eight days since his last win, at the DP World Tour Championship in late 2014. The latest one entails he will start Masters week as the games sixth-ranked player.
Johnson rued the 11 th, where he made doubled bogey, but was in generally upbeat mood as he looks to win a major for the first time. I feel great going into Augusta, he said. I feel like my game is in really good shape. I have had two actually solid weeks in a row, set myself up there in the mix today and make some great shots.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who claimed third place at the WGC Match Play Championship, preserved a brilliant run of form with a closing 65 for fourth. Cabrera-Bello, like Herman, is heading for his Masters debut.
Jordan Spieth had cut a frustrated figure during his entire Houston stay, a matter that only briefly altered before he left for Georgia. The defending Masters champion played his first seven Sunday pits in five under par, leaving him with an outside chance of challenging for the tournament.
A stumble was to follow and he finished with 70 for a share of 13 th. The finding of a water hazard on the final hole rather summed up Spieths tournament.
Everything is checked, I need to put it together and not reach every ball in the water, Spieth said. I had eight water balls this week. Give me eight more shots and we win the tournament. Dont reached it in the water, we win. Its unfortunate. With the conditions, two under today was a very median score.
The good news is I got myself in assertion, I felt the nerves. I know what I need to work on under pressure now for next week and everything is there. I merely need to set it all together and limit the mistakes.
Obviously with the route the round was going, genuinely I was expecting a better finish and coming off a doubled bogey on the last pit and speaking to you guys two minutes later doesnt attain me in a good mood. So, when it determines down, Im sure everything is going to be fine. Everything is there. I watched some putts go into today and thats what I needed.
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