Mo Yoshimoto

The Takeaway

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Ian Poulter wins Houston Open

Monday, April 2, 2018

Houston Open

Humble, Texas




Overnight co-leader and World No. 51 Ian Poulter hung up a 5-under-par 33-34=67 in Sunday’s final round at the Golf Club of Houston to match playing competitor Beau Hossler on 19-under 269, and then defeated him with par on the first hole of sudden death, the par-4 18th.




The 42-year-old, a pre-tourney 66/1 outright, bags his third PGA TOUR title in 241 starts, first as a 54-hole leader/co-leader and first in a full-field event.



It’s also his first victory since the no-cut 2012 WGC-HSBC Champions, five years, five months and 92 starts ago.



With the win, the Englishman earns the final spot into this coming week’s Masters, his 13th, first since a T49 in 2016. Overall, it’ll be his 66th major championship appearance with a best of solo 2nd at the 2008 Open Championship (Royal Birkdale GC).



Poulter earned the return trip to Augusta National by canning a 19’6” birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force the playoff, sealing the deal a few drama-filled moments later.



Turns out he was heading to the Masters anyway, working for Sky Sports, but he drove up Magnolia Lane with clubs in tow instead, looking to add a green jacket to his resume.



It’ll be a tall order for the Orlando resident.



Since 1934, just five players have won the week before winning the Masters, most recently Phil Mickelson in 2006; while Sandy Lyle accomplished the feat 18 years prior to that.



Poulter’s commentary gig was nearly a reality, only adding the Houston Open after finishing T5 at last week’s WGC-Dell Match Play. The quarterfinals loss in Austin, 8-and-6 to eventual runner-up Kevin Kisner, left him 0.0302 (average) world-ranking points short of an automatic invite via the Official World Golf Ranking.




Final Leaderboard:



P1- Ian Poulter 73-64-65-67= 269 (-19)

P2- Beau Hossler 65-68-69-67= 269 (-19)

T3- Jordan Spieth 68-67-71-66= 272 (-16)

T3- Emiliano Grillo 69-68-67-68= 272 (-16)

5- Sam Ryder 66-68-71-68= 273 (-15)




Poulter’s Position by Round:



R1: T123; finished R1 (one hole) on Friday morning

R2: T23

R3: T1

R4: T1



Leader/co-leaders by Round:



R1: Paul Dunne (finished T8): Drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader


R2: Beau Hossler (P2): Drops to 0-for-2 as 36-hole leader/co-leader


R3: Ian Poulter (P1): Improves to 1-for-3 as 54-hole leader/co-leader

R3: Beau Hossler (P2): Drops to 0-for-2


R4: Ian Poulter (P1); playoff record: 1-0

R4: Beau Hossler (P2); playoff record 0-1



Note: Hossler has now led/co-led six times this season after ANY round, tied for the season lead with Dustin Johnson.







A total of 90 pros from a field of 144 pros made the 36-hole cut of 3-under 141:



49 (of 72) EARLY/late

41 (of 71) LATE/early; 1 WD


*Secondary 54-hole cut: 3-under 213 (75 players)



13 players finished in the top 10:



EARLY/late (7):


Jordan Spieth (T3); Emiliano Grillo (T3); Henrik Stenson (T6); Keith Mitchell (T6); Matt Every (T8); Julian Suri (T8); Abraham Ancer (T8)


LATE/early (6):


Ian Poulter (P1); Beau Hossler (P2); Sam Ryder (5th); Russell Henley (T8); Matt Kuchar (T8); Paul Dunne (T8)






12 (of 22) tourneys this season with a traditional draw:






EARLY/late: 5


LATE/early: 7 (Poulter)








Poulter’s Career:


241: starts

186: cuts made (77.1%)


89: top 25s (36.9%)

40: top 10s (16.5%)

15: top 3s (6.2%)

3: wins (1.2%)



Wins by Season (snapshot):



2018: 1 (241st career start)

2017: 0

2016: 0

2015: 0

2014: 0

2013: 0

2012: 1 (149th career start)

2011: 0

2010: 1 (maiden win, 103rd career start; first start of seventh season)






WGCs: 2 (2012 WGC-HSBC; 2010 WGC-Match Play)

Full Field: 1 (2018 Houston Open)




European Tour:


Starts: 336

Wins: 12

Most Recent: 2012 WGC-HSBC; 2011 Volvo World Match Play





Poulter improves to 6-for-8 on the season with three top 25s and two top 10s.


Season Form: P1-5-41-MC-MC-52-15-58



This was his third Houston Open, first since a MC in 2014, and second top 25 (T21/2006). His scoring average on the par-72 layout (10 rounds) is 69.90, with six of those in the red.


Houston Open Form: P1-MC-21








Through 22 events this season:



6 winners were in their 20s

11 were in their 30s

5 were in their 40s (Poulter: age 42)




Season Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:



7: Brian Harman


5: Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson

4: Marc Leishman, Justin Rose, Chesson Hadley, Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Patton Kizzire




Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:



4: Justin Thomas (4-P2-P1-T9)

3: Sergio Garcia (T9-4-T7)

3: Patrick Reed (T9-T7-T2)


2: Ian Poulter (P1-T5)

2: Henrik Stenson (T6-4)

2: Keith Mitchell (T6-2)

2: Matt Kuchar (T8-T9)

2: Paul Dunne (T8-T5); non-member

2: Tiger Woods (T5-T2)




Consecutive Top-10 streaks ended at:



2: Justin Rose (T52-3-T5)




Field Scoring Average:



This was the 71st playing of the Houston Open, 13th and 13th consecutive at the Golf Club of Houston.



Yardage: 7,441

Par: 72 (36-36)


Scoring Average:

R1: 69.79*

R2: 71.04*

R3: 71.44*

R4: 70.32


Total: 70.60



Poulter’s rounds: 73-64-65-67 for 13.584 SG: Total

Hossler’s rounds: 65-68-69-67 for 13.584 SG: Total



*Rounds 1-3 were played with preferred lies

*Round 1 was contested over two days




How Poulter Won on Sunday:



After opening in 73-64-65, Poulter co-led with Hossler.


Playing out of the final twosome, he went out in 3-under, circling four birdies at holes 2, 4, 6 and 8 before squaring a lone bogey-4 at 9 (3-putt from 84’5”). That bogey was his first blemish in 49 holes, last dropping a shot at the par-5 13th in Round 1.


Leading by one (over Ryder), Poulter birdied 11 from 7’4”, his longest conversion of the day to that point, and then carded six straight pars before the heroics on 18.


In extra time, he missed the fairway but found the green in regulation, two-putting for par from 32’10”. Hossler ate triple bogey-7 after visiting three hazards. He drove into a fairway bunker, hit his second into a greenside bunker, and then hit his third over the green and into the water.


Poulter landed 12 (of 14) fairways and pelted 17 GIR, posting 1.765 putts per GIR with 31 total putts.




Round 4 Stats Comparison (ranking of 75 players):



SG: Off-the-Tee:

Poulter: 0.60 (15th)

Hossler: 0.78 (13th)


SG: Approach-the-Green:

Poulter: 3.53 (2nd)

Hossler: -0.48 (51st)



Poulter: 31’1” (T14)

Hossler: 41’11” (64th)


SG: Around-the-Green:

Poulter: -0.50 (T54)

Hossler: 1.14 (15th)


SG: Putting:

Poulter: -0.30 (43rd)

Hossler: 1.88 (14th)


SG: Total:

Poulter: 3.32 (T5)

Hossler: 3.32 (T5)



Poulter: 31 (T53)

Hossler: 29 (T33)







Beau Hossler: The 36-hole leader and 54-hole co-leader closed with bogey-free, 5-under-par 35-32=67 to finish a career-best P2.


After opening with 65-68-69, he co-led with Poulter and was chasing his first TOUR title in 26 events (22 pro).


The first-time member though not a rookie betters a T7 at the Shriners 11 starts ago, also as 54-hole co-leader, and records his third top 10 of the season in 14 starts.


Playing out of the final twosome, the 23-year-old hit eight (of 14) fairways and 15 GIR. He opened with seven straight pars before circling the eighth to turn 1-under, trailing leader Poulter by two.


The University of Texas product birdied 12, 13 and 14 (from 27’10”) to tie Poulter’s lead on 18-under, and then moved one clear with his fourth straight birdie at 15. He concluded with three pars however, narrowly missing a 30’0” birdie try on the 72nd hole to win in regulation.


This was Hossler’s second Houston Open after a T39 last year on a sponsor invite – where he arrived as OWGR No. 1360. He’s now up to 88th.


Season Form: P2-66-MC-MC-43-17-35-20-MC-70-34-7-10-74

Houston Open Form: P2-39

FedExCup Rank: 28th (UP 56); career high

OWGR: 88th (UP 126); career high



Poulter’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 75 players):



Birdies: 23 (T1)

Bogeys: 4 (T5)



Par-3 Scoring: 2.94 (T23)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.75 (1st)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.50 (T11)



Driving Distance (all drives): 272 yards (T68)

Driving Accuracy: 45/56 (3rd) at 80.36%

Greens in Regulation: 60/72 (T4) at 83.33%

Proximity: 33’8” (29th)

Putts per GIR: 1.700 (14th)

Total Putts: 114 (T19)

Putts by Round: 31-24-28-31

Scrambling: 9/12 (T14) at 75.00%

All Around: (6th)



SG: Off-the-Tee: 2.34 (23rd)

SG: Approach-the-Green: 7.23 (3rd)

SG: Around-the-Green: -0.19 (47th)

SG: Putting: 4.21 (15th)

SG: Tee-to-Green: 9.38 (4th)




Low Rounds:



R1: 64: Paul Dunne; career low (35th round)

R2: 64: Ian Poulter

R3: 65: Ian Poulter, Greg Chalmers

R4: 65: Russell Henley




Multiple Bogey-free Rounds: 


3: Scott Piercy

2: Ian Poulter, Beau Hossler, Emiliano Grillo, Henrik Stenson, J.B. Holmes




Updated Top 10 in FEC standings (points):



Poulter collects 500 FEC points for the victory and jumps 89 places to 20th in the FEC standings. Justin Thomas (idle) remains No. 1 in the standings for a seventh event in a row and a sixth overall week this season:



1. Justin Thomas (1,713)

2. Patton Kizzire (1,329)

3. Phil Mickelson (1,226)

4. Bubba Watson (1,175)

5. Dustin Johnson (1,049)

6. Jon Rahm (989)

7. Justin Rose (946)

8. Tony Finau (927); UP one

9. Brendan Steele (912); DOWN one

10. Paul Casey (887)




Updated Top 10 in OWGR:



With a Strength of Field rating of 300 (down from 339 last year), Poulter banks 48.00 world-ranking points and jumps 22 spots to 29th in OWGR. 



1. Dustin Johnson

2. Justin Thomas

3. Jon Rahm

4. Jordan Spieth

5. Justin Rose

6. Hideki Matsuyama

7. Rory McIlroy

8. Rickie Fowler

9. Sergio Garcia

10. Brooks Koepka




Field Breakdown & Top-10 Finishes:



OWGR field average: 301st     

OWGR average for top-10 finishers: 165th    



7 of the Top 25 in OWGR were in the field

3 finished in the top 10



13 of the Top 50 OWGR

3 finished in the top 10



No. 4 Jordan Spieth (T3); top-ranked; pre-tourney co-fave (10/1) outright

No. 15 Henrik Stenson (T6)

No. 20 Matt Kuchar (T8)



Other Top 10s:



No. 51 Ian Poulter (P1)

No. 56 Russell Henley (T8); defender

No. 72 Julian Suri (T8); open-qualifier

No. 75 Emiliano Grillo (T3)

No. 78 Paul Dunne (T8)

No. 214 Beau Hossler (P2)

No. 221 Abraham Ancer (T8)

No. 228 Keith Mitchell (T6)

No. 321 Sam Ryder (5th)

No. 790 Matt Every (T8); first top 10 since win at Arnold Palmer in March, 2015



Other Notables:



No. 5 Justin Rose (T52)

No. 8 Rickie Fowler (T43)

No. 18 Phil Mickelson (T24)

No. 22 Rafa Cabrera Bello (MC)




Career-Best Finishes:



Beau Hossler (P2)

Sam Ryder (5th); sponsor invite

Abraham Ancer (T8)

Julian Suri (T8); open-qualifier

Nate Lashley (T18)




Season Leaders in Top-25 finishes:



9: Justin Thomas


8: Phil Mickelson, Chez Reavie, Luke List, Charles Howell III, Brian Harman


7: Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Brandon Harkins, Kyle Stanley, Cameron Smith, Paul Casey




Consecutive Top-25 streaks on TOUR:



10: Justin Thomas (4-P2-P1-T9-T17-T14-T22-P1-T17-2)


6: Phil Mickelson (T24-T17-P1-T6-T2-T5)

4: Adam Hadwin (T17-T12-T9-T6)

4: Xander Schauffele (T17-T18-T9-T17)


3: Tiger Woods (T5-T2-12)

3: Kyle Stanley (T5-T14-T25)

3: Sergio Garcia (T9-4-T7)

3: Patrick Reed (T9-T7-T2)

3: Paul Casey (T17-1-T12)

3: Charles Howell III (T18-T9-T14)

3: Abraham Ancer (T8-T13-T16)




Consecutive Top-25 streaks ENDED at:



2: Harris English (MC-T5-T22)

2: Corey Conners (MC-T13-T16)

2: Patrick Rodgers (MC-T22-T7)




TOUR Rookies &/or First-Timers:



TOUR Rookies: 18

Top-10 finishes: 2



Sam Ryder: Making his tournament debut (on a sponsor invite), the 28-year-old took top-rookie-honors with a career-best solo 5th on 15-under 273 (66-68-71-68). It’s the first time this season in 12 starts that he’s been low rookie and it’s his first finish inside the top 50 in 13 career events.


The Stetson alum ranked 1st in SG: Putting (9.03) and 53rd (of 75) in SG: Approach (0.09).


Season Form: 5-MC-68-68-MC-50-58-61-MC-MC-MC-MC

FEC Rank: 132nd (UP 70); career high

OWGR: 226th (UP 95)



Keith Mitchell: Making his tournament debut and in the field via a top-10 exemption, the 26-year-old finished T6 on 14-under 274 (67-71-67-69). It’s his third top 25 of the season in 12 starts and second top 10, arriving off a career-best solo 2nd at last week’s Corales.


The Georgia alum ranked 5th in Driving Distance (all drives) at 295.0 yards and was 4th in Par-5 Scoring (4.44).


Season Form: 6-2-MC-47-63-69-25-54-68-MC-MC-MC

FEC Rank: 75th (UP 22); career high

OWGR: 180th (UP 48); career high




First-Timers: 19

Top-10 finishes: 6



Emiliano Grillo: The 25-year-old was top debutant with a season-best T3 on 16-under 272 (69-68-67-68). It’s his third top 10 of the season in 11 starts and 14th consecutive cut made, which ranks tied-eighth on TOUR. The Florida resident’s last MC was the 2017 Wyndham. Overall, this was his fourth top-3 finish in 68 events, first since a T2 at the 2016 Barclays.


He ranked 1st in SG: Around-the-Green (4.93) though 66th in SG: Approach (-2.82).


Season Form: 3-50-26-8-57-12-47-9-40-54-28

FEC Rank: 41st (UP 31)

OWGR: 69th (UP six)




Picking a Winner:





14 (of 22) winners had a top-25 finish the start prior (63.6%):

Poulter? Yes: T5 (Match Play)






8 (of 22) winners had a top-10 finish the start prior (36.3%)

Poulter? Yes: T5 (Match Play)






Average winner’s pre-tourney odds outright (rounded). Last eight:



Poulter: 66/1 (Houston Open)

Watson: 50/1 (WGC-Match Play)

Garnett: 50/1 (Corales)

McIlroy: 16/1 (API)

Casey: 20/1 (Valspar)

Mickelson: 25/1 (WGC-Mexico)

Thomas: 10/1 (Honda)

Watson: 50/1 (Genesis)



















You can find Mo on Twitter @Bears3423.
Email :Mo Yoshimoto

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