Kang flying in Houston

The win means Henley will be heading to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club for the fourth time.

In the final year of his company's sponsorship of the Houston Open, Shell's Bruce Culpepper, left, presents the winner's trophy to Russell Henley on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Georgia native carded a final-round score of 65 to win the tournament by three strokes over Sung Kang. Only four of 19 first-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win so far this season (stroke-play events).

Those players who were headed for an early exit from the final Masters tuneup, where the cut was projected to fall at one-under par, included fifth-ranked British Open champion Henrik Stenson, sixth-ranked Jordan Spieth, eighth-ranked Adam Scott and South African Ernie Els.

"I just putted a little better than yesterday, plus I was first off so the greens were really pure and I rolled it really nicely and they kept going in", Kang told Sky Sports 4.

Fowler closed with a 70 and tied for third, along with Luke List (68).

Gene Sauers entered the final round with a one-stroke lead following a 63 on Saturday, but he shot a 71 before losing in the playoff. "I also think the course provides a great opportunity to get ready for next week".

Henley won for the third time in his PGA Tour career, and his first since a playoff victory over Rory McIlroy in the 2014 Honda Classic.

"Unfortunately there were a couple of spike marks and I hit those and kicked to the right", world No. 202 Kang said of his miss. No one else is within eight shots of Kang. But he dropped three shots in two holes with a double bogey at 15, and a bogey at 16.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Daniel Berger jumped 37 spots to a tie for seventh at 7 under thanks to a 5-under 67.

Ten players are within five shots of the lead at the LPGA Tour's first major of the year, including Inbee Park, Michelle Wie and Ariya Jutanugarn.

  • Julie Sanders