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The final leaderboard for the 2016 Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas is in. 38-year-old Jim Herman hung on with two-putt pars on 17 and 18 to win by one stroke over runner-up Henrik Stenson; it’s Herman’s first PGA Tour title and it earns him an invitation to next week’s Masters. Below is the truncated top-10 leaderboard:
(1) Jim Herman (-15)
(2) Henrik Stenson (-14)
(3) Dustin Johnson (-13)
(4) Rafa Cabrera Bello (-12)
(T5) Daniel Berger (-11)
(T5) Russell Henley (-11)
(T7) Charles Howell III (-10)
(T7) Chez Reavie (-10)
(T7) Kyle Reifers (-10)
(T10) Patrick Reed (-9)
(T10) Rickie Fowler (-9)
(T10) Sean O’Hair (-9)
Here are my thoughts and a few statistics on the champion and some notable golfers near the top of the leaderboard:
Winner: Jim Herman (-15) – This is Herman’s first PGA Tour win, and with it he secures a late invite to the Masters Tournament next week. In his last three starts at the Arnold Palmer, Valspar and Honda, he finished T63, MC and MC; before that, he finished T17 at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am (his best finish of the 2016 season prior to this week). Previous finishes at the Shell Houston Open for Herman include a T57 in 2015, MC in 2014, MC in 2013, T14 in 2012 and T66 in 2011 — a lot of experience playing at GC Houston, but not much evidence of any historical course form that could have played in his favour this week. His only other professional win is the 2010 Moonah Classic on the (formerly) Nationwide Tour. Do I expect him to contend at the Masters? No, partly because it’s his first time playing the tournament and partly because it’s very difficult to carry winning form from week to week. You never know, though!
Today: 5 birdies and 1 bogey for a 4-under 68. His 3-birdie no-bogey back nine (with an awesome chip-in from off the par-3 16th green) was enough to push him over the top. Scores in regulation: 69, 69, 67, 68 (273).
“Sorry for the tears, but I’m pretty happy.”
Jim Herman never thought he’d make it to The Masters. https://t.co/G1OBantNUI
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 3, 2016
Henrik Stenson (-14) – This is Stenson’s second top-5 finish on Tour in two weeks, his first being a T3 at the Arnold Palmer. This is also his eighth runner up finish since his last worldwide win at the DP World Tour Championship. Believe it or not, he has only won 4 times on the PGA Tour to date, although he does have currently 9 European Tour wins. Previous finishes at the Shell Houston Open for Stenson include a T54 in 2014, T2 in 2013 (behind D.A. Points), T21 in 2012 and T3 in 2009 (behind Paul Casey and J.B. Holmes) — very good history at the tournament and the course, which I’m sure proved valuable for him this week. I think it’s certainly only a matter of time before Stenson ends his drought and gets his fifth Tour win. Will it be at the Masters? Only time will tell.
Today: Like Herman, Stenson made 5 birdies and 1 bogey for a 4-under 68. He wasn’t able to make the 18-footer for birdie on 18 he needed to get into a playoff. Scores in regulation: 69, 71, 66, 68 (274).