Shell Houston Open. Jim Herman Has Maiden Victory.

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Jim Herman has collected his maiden PGA Tour Victory at the Shell Houston Open.

Jim Herman of the United States poses with the trophy after his victory at the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on April 3, 2016 in Humble, Texas.

Jim Herman with his prized Trophy

Jim carded a final round -4 under par 68 to win the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston, with a tournament total of -15 under par, a one shot maiden victory. Henrik Stenson pushed him all the way, but Jim pulled off a bit of magic with a chip in birdie at 16.

Instead of heading home Jim is now going to Augusta;

“It’s a whirlwind, this is crazy.”

“I’ve dreamt of this for a long time and now it’s here. I’m going to enjoy it.”

“We’ll get our daughter out of school and they’ll be up at Augusta next week.”

“I’m pretty proud of myself to get up there, first time I was in the final group, and bring it home.”

Henrik Stenson finished in second place, that one shot back at -14 under par after his last round of -4 under par 68. Henrik is in a second place slump, this is his  eighth runner-up finish since his last worldwide victory, which was at the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship in November 2014;

“I feel like a lot of times I put myself in the mix without playing really, really good, which I think is a great statement to my kind of low level of game.”

 “We’ll see when it’s going to happen, sooner or later. I’m not worried about that.”

Third place was claimed by Dustin Johnson, at -13 under par for the tournament, a last round -3 under par 69 not quite good enough.

Round of the day went to Rafa Cabrera Bello, -7 under par 65, which got him into fourth place on his own at -12 under par.

 Jordan Spieth started the final round five shots off the lead, and quickly accomplished his goal to sprint into contention. He birdied five of his first seven holes to reach -11 under par. He seemed unstoppable with a putter in his hand, but bogeys at 9, 11 and 12 followed by  a double-bogey at the 18th, after finding water again, for the eighth time this week, stopped his charge, finishing T13 at -8 under;

“Good news is I got myself in contention.”

 “I felt the nerves, I know what I need to work on under pressure now for next week. Everything is there.”

 

Shell Houston Open. Jim Herman & Jamie Lovemark Share Lead.

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Jim Herman and Jamie Lovemark share the Shell Houston Open lead after 54 holes at the Golf Club of Houston, Texas.

Jim Herman and Jamie Lovemark share the lead at 11 under heading into the final round of the Shell Houston Open (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Jim and Jamie / Getty Images

Jamie carded a third round -2 under par 70 to share the top spot with Jim, who had a third round of  -5 under par 67, both of them at -11 under par for the Shell Houston Open tournament.

Jamie said he was just taking it easy, while still looking for his first PGA Tour win;

“That was my third or fourth event as a pro. Things seemed kind of easy.”

“Hindsight, it’s not too easy after all. I’m not taking much for granted, just going to do what I do.”

Jim has been out here for five years, he too is still waiting for that elusive first win;

“Houston or any of the other places would be fantastic, just to get one.”

“I’ve been out here five years, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow. If it goes my way, that would be awesome.”

Tied in third place are Henrik Stenson, who carded the days low round, -6 under 66,  Russell Henley-4 under 68 and Dustin Johnson -2 under 70, they all posted 54 hole totals of -10 under par.

Henrik is not putting too well, but playing well;

“The first two days I’ve hit the ball quite nicely but haven’t been putting well.”

“So I worked again yesterday afternoon on that. I got it going a bit better today. I was more comfortable, found some lies and made a couple of beauties out there.”

Roberto Castro is alone in sixth place at -9 under par, scoring a third round -2 under 70.

Charlie Hoffman who was flying high for two days, came down to earth today, racking up two bogey’s and a double, for a third round +2 over 74, and tied for seventh position with Chez Reavie, even par 72 today and Kyle Reifers -4 under 68, all of them with -8 under par totals.

Jordan Spieth shot -2 under 70 today to move into the large group at -6 under and T14. He said was playing well, maybe tomorrow the low round will come;

“I felt like I played well.”

“We had some unreal wind flips on the first six, seven holes, and we were on the wrong end of about six in a row. It’s really tough to stay patient through that.”

“I’m playing really, really solid golf. But it just hasn’t come through in a round of minus six or minus seven.”

“Hopefully that means we’re saving them for tomorrow, or next week.”

Shell Houston Open. Round 2 Supended, Charlie Still in Charge.

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Round 2 of the Shell Houston Open was suspended due to darkness, with Charlie Hoffman still in charge at the top of the Golf Club of Houston leaderboard in Texas.

Shell Houston Open

Charley Hoffman/ Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Charley carded a second round -2 under 70 to stay at the top of the shell Houston Open leaderboard at -10 under par, after his completed round earlier in the day.

Jamie Lovemark is just one shot behind at -9 under for the tournament, -4 under par 68 today put him firmly in the frame. Five years ago was his last Shell Houston Open appearance, where he had to withdraw because of back pain, that led to surgery. He remembers it well;

“I remember on Wednesday (in 2011), I couldn’t really bend over to get into my setup and I knew that day I was in trouble.”

 “So it feels great to be playing at a course where I couldn’t even compete five years ago.”

“I’ve come a long ways, and hopefully I’ll be able to win and that will be a cool story.”

“Obviously under pressure, the swing changes a little bit, body fluctuates a lot.”

“I’m learning ins and outs of being in contention late on Sunday. Hopefully I’ll get it one of these days.”

Sharing third place at -8 under par are Chez Reavie, -2 under 70 today, Dustin Johnson -1 under 71, both with completed second rounds, and Roberto Castro and Jaime Donaldson who have only completed 15 holes.

Jordan Spieth who shot +1 over par 73 today, is at -4 under for the tournament, but sadly is still suffering from his putting woes;

“I have to putt better, I’m losing a couple strokes to the field on putting and normally we’re gaining strokes.”

“Inside 10 feet, I need to be solid and confident. I can’t get into a rhythm. I’m stepping off putts.”

“I have to get more comfortable, find a setup position that I feel like is going to produce the correct start lines.”

“Those holes are playing at 4.5 strokes today and I played them with two sixes”

 “There’s three strokes right there, as well as two bogeys from 100 yards with wedges in my hand from the fairway this week.”

“The kind of little things that are easy to shave off, but it just kind of really stinks to keep on making those mistakes.”

 

 

 

Shell Houston Open. Charlie Leads.

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Charlie Hoffman leads the first round of the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club Of Houston in Humble, Texas.

Hoffman takes lead with 64

Charley Hoffman / Getty Images

Charley carded a Shell Houston Open first round -8 under par 64, to lead the tournament by one shot over the field. Charley has played well recently, except of the final rounds, his putter took most of the blame;

“The tournaments I played well in the last few weeks, I’ve shot 3, 4 over on the back nine on Sunday when I’ve been going from winning the golf tournament to 12th or 15th place.”

“That’s big positions on the PGA TOUR.”

“Early in the year I was struggling a little bit. The putter was acting up and wasn’t driving it great.”

“You go through the walls throughout the year. All in all, I feel great about my game where it’s going.”

“I’m leading, so I’m going to go with it’s my best round of the year.”

There is a gang of four players tied in second place at -7 under par, following their opening rounds of 65. Dustin Johnson, Roberto Castro, Scott Brown and Morgan Hoffman are the chasers.

Dustin is tuning up for Augusta;

“I just felt like I needed to play a few more competitive rounds and get the game in really good shape going into Augusta.”

Jordan Spieth is on the comeback trail, shooting -5 under par 67 to be in the group at T10;

“I drove the ball fantastic today, I really felt comfortable on my iron shots.”

“I feel like my game is there. It’s very close.”

 “I came off a solid week last week. I had just one kind of off round against Louis Oosthuizen.”

“We were able to get some work in with Cameron ( Spieth’s instructor) and continue what we’ve already been trying to do, trim the fat going into this week and next.”

Shell Houston Open. JB Shoots 64, and Then Wins Play-Off.

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J.B. Holmes shoots 64 in the final round of the Shell Houston Open to get into a three-way play-off, which he wins.

Shell Houston Open

JB Holmes / Getty Images

The final round -8 under par 64 gave JB a -16 under par Shell Houston Open total, a score that was matched by Jordan Spieth and Johnson Wagner.

To win the play-off he parred the index one hole, the 18th twice, to claim victory, and a place next week in The Masters.

In interview JB admitted he did not expect to win today;

“I didn’t focus on the results at any point in the round.”

“I was just trying to do the best I could do each hole and at the end of the round, then you add it up.”

“I didn’t tee off expecting to win today, but you know, it’s a nice surprise.”

“I’m trying to take a deep breath and stay in the moment, not let my mind race, just sometimes say a little prayer.”

Jordan bogied the first extra hole, saying he heard  camera click on his backswing, apart from that little mistake he is well prepared for The Masters;

“I don’t know if it was me or it actually happened, either way, I still should be able to get down through the sand there. No excuse.”

“I felt more and more comfortable with more and more pressure, and that gives me a lot of confidence going into Augusta, where you probably have the most pressure anywhere.”

“I feel as prepared as I think I could be.”

“To be able to get up-and-down again, just like Valspar, gives me a lot of confidence on the greens, and that’s obviously the most important piece next week.”

“But I’m going to need to strike the ball a little better to have a chance to win.”

Johnson Wagner won the 2008 Shell Houston Open, he nearly did it again, and was disappointed not have done;

“I’m pretty disappointed right now, but I hit so many good shots coming in.”
“It’s nice to get in the hunt again, put myself in a position.”
“I’m a good player. I strike the ball well, but my mind gets in my way, when I don’t focus and when I don’t have fun on the golf course, I get lazy and I don’t practice and it’s just a cycle.”
“I tend to not ride the highs long enough and ride the lows too long. I don’t know what it is, but hopefully this is a good start to turn it around for me.”

 

Shell Houston Open. Jordan Jumps Ahead, Phil Fades.

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Jordan Spieth jumps ahead as Phil Mickelson fades in the third round of the Shell Houston Open.

Shell Houston Open

Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

Jordan put together a third round -5 under par 67, to lead the Shell Houston Open at -14 under par after three rounds at the  Golf Club of Houston.

He carded six birdies and a lone bogey on Saturday to take a one-shot lead going into the final round tomorrow;

“It’s nice to be in the hunt again, I can control my own destiny tomorrow. I’m perfectly fine with that fact and excited about trying to do so.”

“Today was as comfortable as I’ve ever been with the lead on a weekend, which feels really good.”

“Any time you can close a tournament out, it’s going to be good for you the next time you tee it up.”

Three players are that one shot behind, Scott Piercy, Austin Cook and Johnson Wagner, all at -13 under par. Scott and Johnson both returned the low rounds of the day at -6 under par 66, while Austin had -2 under par 70.

Austin and his brother caddy had a day of ups and downs, but still managed to enjoy the atmosphere;

“It was a great day, overall an incredible day.”

“I hadn’t played in front of that kind of crowd before and it was a lot of fun.”

“This is a pretty awesome moment, I think that after tomorrow’s round we’ll be able to really sit back and take it all in.”

Johnson is also having ball out there, and said he really likes his job;

“I’ve always appreciated my job and what I do and how blessed I am to be able to do it.”

“I think you can stay out on TOUR for a while, make a few million dollars and get a little complacent and get whiny.”

“I don’t want to take it for granted anymore. It’s the greatest job I could ever have.”

Scott admitted he had played better earlier in the week, but still put the ball where he needed to;

“I didn’t hit it as great as I did on Thursday, but I put it in places where I could make pars and then I took advantage of some good shots.”

Shawn Stefani is alone in fifth position at -12 under par, and he is followed by a host of players at -11 under par, which include former Champion Paul Casey.

Phil faded badly for a man of his caliber, a +3 over par 75 third round has taken him out of contention for this title, now T18 at -8 under. He will need to have a good round tomorrow so that he can take some forward momentum to Augusta.

 

Shell Houston Open. Mickelson in the Mix as Andrew Putnam Leads.

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Phil Mickelson is in the mix at the Shell Houston Open as Andrew Putnam sits on top of the leaderboard, just one shot clear of Phil.

Shell Houston Open

Andrew Putnam / Getty Images

Andrew birdied six of his final nine holes on the Golf Course of Houston’s front nine and carded the lowest round of the day with a stunning -7 under par 65, to lead the Shell Houston Open at -12 under par for 36 holes.

He was pretty happy with that result, but did admit that lately he had not been playing well;

“Solo lead, that’s pretty cool.”

“I haven’t been playing good or scoring well, both have been bad, but I’m doing both well this week.”

Phil shares second place with Austin Cook, both on -11 under par, and Phil said he was having fun, the practice he has put in with the short game and putting making the difference;

Shell Houston Open

Phil Mickelson / Getty Images

“It’s fun for me to put myself in a position heading into the weekend to have a chance.”

“And I think that’s an important thing for me heading into next week to get into contention, feel that pressure, and get back to playing later on the weekends.”

“You have to be in contention in tournaments and play well heading into the Masters. Although it’s happened in the past where guys have out of nowhere played great that week and had a magical week and won, the odds aren’t in your favor.”

“Because the pressure that you feel trying to win the Masters is greater than just about anything we have.”

“Before San Antonio, I spent hours each day, four, five, six hours on the putting green just getting my putting back to where I wanted, going back over the drills that made me successful.”

“My short game has been sharp this week. I’ve hit some good pitches and touch.”

Austin played the final nine holes at -5 under and birdied the last one;

“It was unbelievable, it was great. I’m really, really comfortable with my swing and my game right now and it’s kind of showing.”

Graeme DeLaet shares fourth position with Luke Guthrie, both on -10 under par, Graeme thought he had lots of chances out on the course today;

“I felt like I had chances all day.”

“I’m finally starting to hit the ball well again. I was hitting foul balls with the driver and digging myself holes I couldn’t get out of.’

‘I knew it would eventually turn around and I would start holing putts.”

Jordan Spieth is one of the six players T6 at -9 under par, after finishing his round he explained the difference it made once the wind had died down;

“The wind died down, and with the greens being soft, if we were playing out of the fairway, you could really fire at some flag sticks.”