Georgia native Henley books Masters berth with Shell Houston Open triumph


Georgia native Russell Henley booked the final spot in next week's Masters at Augusta by surging to victory in the Shell Houston Open on Sunday.

Sung Kang had begun the final round leading by three from Rickie Fowler, with Henley a stroke further back.

However, as the South Korean struggled on his way to a closing 72, Henley fired 10 birdies in a stunning 65 that saw him finish three clear of Kang at 20 under.

Henley, who will now feature at Augusta for the fourth time, could even afford to double-bogey the ninth and drop a further shot on 18 as he completed his third career victory on the PGA Tour.

With the forecast calling for thunderstorms to move into the Houston area around 3pm local time, officials moved the final round start times up, with groups of three making a split start on Sunday morning from the first and 10th.

Henley immediately mounted a charge, birdieing five of his first eight holes.

And although trouble followed at the par-three ninth, he soon got hot again to triumph with a degree of comfort.

Kang, who was only one under for the weekend after beginning the tournament with rounds of 65 and 63, is still seeking his first PGA Tour win.

He at least held on to second, finishing one clear of Fowler (70) and Luke List (68).