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Big final day lifts Points to Houston Open Win

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D.A. Points was there at the beginning and he was there at the end, claiming his first PGA Tour victory since the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am.

On a day when going low was the only path toward victory, Points wrote six birdies and 12 pars on his card to ease past third-round leaders Stewart Cink and Bill Haas into victory lane.

One stroke behind the winner were Henrik Stenson and Billy Horschel. Cink mustered a 2-under 70 to drop into a tie for sixth while Haas had his second poor final-round performance of 2013 to drop into a tie for 10th place.

The closing stretch at the Redstone Golf Club Tournament course is a humbling trace. Many golfers came to No. 16 tee with a chance at victory, only to lose shots and the opportunity to hoist the winner’s trophy. Points was not immune to the pressure of the closing trio. After hitting a short iron into the No. 16 green and two-putting for par 3, Points missed both the Nos. 17 and 18 greens with approach shots. He was able to get up-and-down on both occasions, from 43 yards and 29 yards. He escaped the day without a bogey, unlike his closest pursuers.

Points revealed on Thursday that he had put an old Ping Anser into his bag. He confessed that he had nipped the club from his mother’s golf bag when he was 11 or 12 years old. Points asked the Ping tour staff to add some weight to the putter and clean it up. Given his success this week in Texas, more pros might be found searching through their local pro shops for just such a club. <<< Click here to see what else Points had in the bag this week >>>

Stenson and Horschel each posted seven birdies on the day, but both made a critical bogey during the closing 18, creating the slim gap between themselves and the champion. Horschel bogeyed the par-4 No. 6 hole and was unable to post a birdie over the final five holes to match Points. But the runner-up finish did move Horschel, 26, into the top 30 on the FedEx Cup list for the season.

Stenson’s mistake came later in the round, on the par-5 No. 13. The Swede drove into a fairway bunker and was able to advance the ball a mere 70 yards with his second strike. His third blow traveled into his second sand pit of the hole, leaving him a 25-yard pitch to the flag. A solid play left him seven feet for par, but he missed and recorded a dagger six on his scorecard. Stenson birdied four of his final five holes, including Nos. 17 and 18, yet came up one slim stroke shy of a playoff.

Overnight leaders Haas and Cink got absolutely nothing going over the opening nine holes to dig a sizeable hole for their title chances. Haas played the front side in 2-over 38 while Cink posted nine consecutive pars while others sped by. Dustin Johnson made a legitimate run at the title with seven birdies and an eagle. Two bogeys served as speed bumps for the long hitter, although he had to be inspired by his near-miss.

As the Tour moves one week closer to its first major championship, a number of familiar names are rounding into form. Phil Mickelson closed with a 68 to move into the top 20 for the week. Keegan Bradley and Lee Westwood recorded top-10 finishes while Ben Crane snuck into the top five at Houston. Given that the Redstone tournament directors take pride in setting up the course like Augusta National, all of these players should be given proper respect in two weeks at The Masters.

Click here to see photos of the equipment Points had in the bag this week 

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open

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Ready your Las Vegas puns and prepare to let it ride — GolfWRX was live this week from Sin City for the Shriners Children’s Open from TPC Summerlin.

Our photos from Vegas this week outnumber the dreams of slot machine riches and jackpot glory from the U.S. gambling capital.

General galleries? We’ve got ’em. WITBs? How about 17 — including the great Spencer Levin?

In addition, we have photos of the new Titleist Pro V1, new Ping G430, prototype irons and shafts — plus, limited-edition Vegas-inspired putter covers.

Grab a seat at the slot machine of your choosing and pull that lever!

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Check out Scotty Cameron’s 2022 “Las Vegas” putter cover

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Las Vegas traditions include both losing your shirt at the craps table and limited-edition putter covers from Scotty Cameron at the Shriners Children’s Open.

Last year’s “Let’s Roll” cover featured an abundance of red dice against a green background. 

Prior to that, the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign served as inspiration.

This year, Cameron and Company went with a silver cover with a traditional Vegas showgirl, “777,” jackpot, a pair of cards totaling blackjack, and more.

Check out Scotty’s 2022 “Las Vegas” covers, below.

Check out more photos from the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open here.

 

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Photos from the 2022 Presidents Cup

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GolfWRX was live for the “United States vs. Everyone (except Europe)” showdown, otherwise known as the Presidents Cup.

Contested this year at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, from an equipment standpoint, the Presidents Cup offers the opportunity to get an up-close look at the wares of the best golfers in the world and always provides for some interesting custom equipment — like Justin Thomas’ wedge, below (and Max Homa’s in the featured image).

Check out all our galleries from the Presidents Cup, below.

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