Mahan Pulls Off One-Shot Victory in Houston Open

Hunter Mahan closed with a 1-under 71 to earn his second victory of the year on the PGA Tour. The 29-year-old Californian finished at 16-under 272 on the Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club to win the $6 million Houston Open by a stroke over Sweden's Carl Petterssen.

Mahan started the final round two shots behind 54-hole leader Louis Oosthuizen, with whom he was paired in the final group. After starting Sunday with eight straight pars, Mahan, who won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship earlier in February, carded two consecutive birdies.

He parred the next three holes but bogeyed the par-3 14th. The Oklahoma State star played steadily down the stretch, though, with four straight pars to secure the fifth victory of his career. In addition to taking home $1.062 million, Mahan earned 500 FedEx Cup points, which moved him to the top of the season-long points' race.

"I feel great," he said at greenside. "To hang in there on the back nine, it feels great. I'm glad I'm playing good and I'm glad I'm going to Augusta," Mahan added in reference to his game being in good shape for next week's Masters.

Petterssen also shot a 71. Ranked 95th in the latest World Golf Ranking, the 34-year-old, who now makes his home in North Carolina, needed a victory this week to secure a spot in the Masters.

Oosthuizen closed with a 3-over 75 to end up in solo third at 14-under 274. Despite his disappointing final round, the 2010 British Open champion will be teeing it up Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club.

Jeff Overton matched the low round of the day, a 4-under 68, to share fourth with Keegan Bradley (71), Phil Mickelson (71) and England's Brian Davis (74). Tied for eighth at 277 were Bud Cauley (68), Cameron Tringale (68), J.B. Holmes (71) and James Driscoll (73).

Ernie Els closed with a 2-under 70 to share 12th at 10-under 278. Unless the South African receives a last-minute special exemption, he will miss his first Masters Tournament since 1993.

After opening with a 67 and a 73, 52-year-old Fred Couples shot 71 and 74 over the weekend to tie for 47th at 3-under 285. The 1992 Masters' champion will head from Houston to Augusta, where he's had 11 top-10 finishes since 1983.

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