What happened at the Houston Open?

Ian Poulter was told last week at the Match Play that he had just scraped into The Masters in 50th spot on the world rankings but was then notified that he had come up just short. He now needed to beat Kevin Kisner in the quarter-finals to book his place at Augusta, he would lose 8&6 and he left Austin unsure whether he would even play this week.

He did play, opened with a 73 and was literally packing his bags on Thursday night. But then he shot a 64 and followed it with a 65 and then Poulter did this on the final green to tie Beau Hossler with both players needing a win to make it to Augusta National.

The play-off was an anti-climax with Hossler, who had played a brilliant shot in regulation play from a fairway bunker to secure his par, fanning one right into more sand and then thinning it into the water.

Poulter, whose last win came at the end of 2012, parred for his first strokeplay win in the States and he can now head back to The Masters after missing out last year.

Hossler pushed brilliantly all day and birdied four on the bounce from the 12th to take the lead for the first time at the 15th but Poulter and that Medinah putter undid him at the 72nd hole.

Coming into the week Jordan Spieth seemed to be the only big name out of sorts going into The Masters but he will now head to Georgia on the back of a closing 66 which included a 25-footer for par to finish. The Texan’s putter hasn’t been working for him but there were 21 birdies and an eagle over the week and by playing this week will have done him all sorts of favours.

Emiliano Grillo tied for third with Spieth after he started holing everything on the back nine, collecting four birdies in six holes from the 10th, but he would come up three shots short after dropping a shot at the 18th for a 68.

Talking Point

Lee Westwood has posted five top 10s in his last eight Masters starts, this year the 44-year-old will miss his first trip to Augusta since 2004.

Like Poulter he needed a win here to book his drive down Magnolia Lane but, after playing his first two rounds in five under, he missed the secondary cut after struggling to a 76.

This was his first start since Perth in early February and it looks unlikely that he will give the PGA Tour much of a go this year.

“I’d like to be playing in the Masters, but it’s just one of those things. I dropped out of the top 50 in the world rankings, and that was that. That’s the nice thing about it, you’ve got to play well to get in it,” Westwood said.

“I don’t know yet, even if I’ll play (here) the rest of the year. This could be my one visit.”

Best Quote

“Felt something in the couple putts that I did hit, just opened my shoulder slightly. From that point I’ve been able to stand over the putts, I’ve been seeing my lines a lot easier and been rolling a few putts in. So hopefully I’ve found what is the key. I need to write it down, and when it’s not there I need to read it,” Ian Poulter on his new-found putting tech

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