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Hunter season: Mahan edges Pettersson for SHO title

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By Michael Williams

GolfWRX Staff Writer

American Hunter Mahan made a statement about his place in the golf world, carving out a nervy win 1-shot at the 2012 Shell Houston Open over Swede Carl Pettersson.

Mahan began the day with eight straight birdies before putting up birdie on the par-3 9th, one of only three birdies for the field on Sunday on that hole. That put Mahan in a tie for the lead at 15-under, and he never looked back. He took sole possession of the lead on the very next hole carding another birdie on the par-4 10th, moving to 16-under and maintained that level while being chased by a group of players including Pettersson, reigning PGA Champion Keegan Bradley and defending Shell Houston Open Champion Phil Mickelson.

Mahan, whose short game and focus under pressure had been an issue in previous campaigns, showed again that he has put those issues behind him.  He made a key par save at No. 16, putting a flop shot to within 4 feet after airmailing the green with his approach.

After putting up a string of back-nine pars to stay within one shot of the lead, Pettersson split the fairway on No. 18 and then put his approach pin high. His two-putt from 20 feet left him needing a Mahan mistake to get to a playoff. Nursing his slim one shot advantage over Pettersson, Mahan also found the fairway on No. 18. He then hit hit next shot with championship poise, leaving himself a fairly routine two-putt for a 1-under par 71 (16-under 272).

With the fifth win of his career, the 29-year old Mahan achieved several key milestones. He became the first multiple-winner on the PGA Tour in 2012, winning previously at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships. He also moved ahead of Johnson Wagner to the top spot in the FedEx Cup Standings. For good measure, Mahan goes into the Masters as the top ranked American player in the Official World Golf Rankings (No. 4).

Third round leader Louie Oosthuizen dropped out of contention when he suffered two double-bogeys on his way to a 41 on the front nine. Oosthuizen managed to steady the ship, but had to settle for a solo 3rd-place finish, two shots back of the winner.

Defending Champion Mickelson finished with a 71 on Sunday to finish six strokes off the lead at 12-under for the week, and, save for a slightly balky putter, looked as though all phases of his game are ready to begin his quest for a 4th Masters title.

“I’ve got some good momentum going into next week,” said Mickelson. “I feel like of done all the preparation and now it’s just a matter of getting the touch and feel right for [Augusta}.”

Ernie Els fell short in his bid to earn his way into the Masters. Needing a win to qualify, Els finished with a tie for 12th place at 12-under 278. Els must now await an invitation from Augusta National to avoid missing the tournament for the first time in 18 years.

Click here for Shell Houston Open discussion

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Williams has a reputation as a savvy broadcaster, and as an incisive interviewer and writer. An avid golfer himself, Williams has covered the game of golf and the golf lifestyle including courses, restaurants, travel and sports marketing for publications all over the world. He is currently working with a wide range of outlets in traditional and electronic media, and has produced and hosted “Sticks and Stones” on the Fox Radio network, a critically acclaimed show that combined coverage of the golf world with interviews of the Washington power elite. His work on Newschannel8’s “Capital Golf Weekly” and “SportsTalk” have established him as one of the area’s most trusted sources for golf reporting. Williams has also made numerous radio appearances on “The John Thompson Show,” and a host of other local productions. He is a sought-after speaker and panel moderator, he has recently launched a new partnership with The O Team to create original golf-themed programming and events. Williams is a member of the United States Golf Association and the Golf Writers Association of America.

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10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana, where, among other things, a giant three-legged crocodile roams.

Now in it’s second year, the tournament’s unique two-man team format has attracted a wealth of top talent, including 10 of the top 14 golfers in the OWGR. We’re on the scene snapping bag pictures and have five galleries from TPC Louisiana’s range Tuesday. We also have a look inside Ryan Ruffels bag, a peek at Jimmy Walker’s putter, a look in Brooks Koepka’s bag, and more!

Let’s dig in.

Well, this certainly is interesting, Xinjun Zhang. Not sure about the context, but not something you traditionally see on a PGA Tour driving range…

Hard not to love Ryan Ruffels’ 009M

Look’s like Michael Greller is enjoying some well-earned relaxation

Ryan Palmer boldly going where few Tour pros dare to: serif font

Roman numeral loft stamping? Savage grind? We like your style, Bud Cauley

Is this a new Wilson Staff PMP wedge prototype or a one-off thing for Ricky Barnes?

Finally, Whitney comes to a wedge

Ham & egg!

Jimmy Walker’s silver Spider

Our Tour Photographer risking the wrath of Bubba (we assume he had permission)

 

Tuesday’s Photos

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana (par 72; 7,425 yards), designed by Pete Dye with consultants Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson.

The Zurich Classic is a unique event on the PGA Tour because it’s not an individual stroke-play event. Instead, the format consists of two-man teams playing best-ball on Thursday and Saturday, and alternate-shot on Friday and Sunday.

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Last year, Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won the event after four playoff holes against Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown. The Smith/Blixt duo will be back to defend their title, and the Kisner/Brown pairing will be back avenging their loss.

Other notable pairings in the field include Daniel Berger/Gary Woodland, Wesley Bryan/Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay, John Daly/Rory Sabbatini, Jason Day/Ryan Ruffels, David Duval/Jim Furyk, Tony Finau/Daniel Summerhays, Sergio Garcia/Rafa Cabrera Bello, J.B. Holmes/Brand Snedeker, Matt Kuchar/Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel, Sean O’Hair/Jimmy Walker, Pat Perez/Jason Dufner, Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer, Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley and more!

Check out our photos from the event below!

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums

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10 interesting photos from Monday at the Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana, where, among other things, a giant three-legged crocodile roams.

Now in it’s second year, the tournament’s unique two-man team format has attracted a wealth of top talent, including 10 of the top 14 golfers in the OWGR. We’re on the scene snapping bag pictures, and have WITB looks at Matt Jones and Roberto Diaz, in addition to a general gallery from the TPC Louisiana range.

Let’s dig in.

Matt Jones doesn’t need his name embroidered on his headcovers: tape and a marker will do just fine, thanks

Last week, Faaaabel the Goat. This week, someone who would eat Faaabel

Roberto Diaz: Brand agnostic

Wesley Bryan’s Taco Bell(t) lives

Homemade putting aid or soon to be seen on a Golf Channel infomercial (or both)?

UDI with a side of lead

Shaft bags: Assemble!

Roberto Diaz Fourteen RM wedge

What more do you need in life?

A bouquet of Circle T putter covers

Check out our photos from Monday below!

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