Submitted by George HInes
The Redstone Golf Course would be the last access to the Masters Field next month. The tourney was going to be well attended by ASG golfers. Phil Mickelson defending 2011 Shell Houston Open would be in attendance but was cut after two rounds. Tiger Woods was taking the week off after winning at Bay Hill.
With a purse of $6,000,000 the golfers found an excellent venue to contest a golf tourney. Redstone has been compared to the Masters course with its large undulating greens, and rolling fairways.
Duffy Waldorf got the early lead with a startling 7 birdies with two bogeys for a 67 under calm and normal conditions with a slight breeze from the southwest, a prevailing wind. Billy Mayfair, Davis Love, Steve Stricker, Chad Campbell, D.A. Points, Scott McCarron and Peter Hansen all ended the opening round with 68s. Ernie Els, Anthony Kim, Jason Bohn, Andres Hansen, Jhonathan Vegas, Ryuji Imada, and Camilo Villegas trailed by one more at -3.
Great weather continued as Steve Stricker continued with another 68 (-8) with 6 birdies and 2 bogeys. Both Lee Westwood and J.B. Holmes charged to 2nd with near flawless rounds with only one bogey. Billy Mayfair joined the twosome. at (-7). Chad Campbell and Andres Hansen both scored 5 birdies but slipped into third at (-6)
Charl Schwartzel burst on the scene in moderate winds with a 68 at (-9). Steve Stricker joined Charl with a 71 at (-9). Brian Davis mastered the breezes at the Redstone with a 70 for (-7) and second place. Ernie Els moved closer to his goal of a win to get to Augusta with a very workman like 71 at (-6).
On Sunday Charl Schwartzel held onto the lead for the first five holes. Jason Bohn caught Charl at the 6th hole along with Brian Davis at (-8). Charl Schwartzel and Brian Davis moved up to (-9) on the 8th hole with Jason Bohn holding his own at (-8). At the turn Charl and Brian were still tied at (-9) with Jason Bohn at (-8).
Ernie Els improved his standing at (-7) with two birdies but still trailed.
Jason Bohn finally broke out in 12th and 13th holes and moved to (-10). He carried the lead through the 16th hole. Charl Schwartzel and Ernie Els moved to within one at (-9) at the 16th. Brian Davis ran into trouble on successive holes after the 11th hole dropping all the way to (-6) at the 14th hole, four back of leader Jason Bohn. This was Jason Bohn high point as he dropped two strokes over the last two holes to (-8) to join his three other opponents at 18 at (-8).
A sudden death playoff was called for at the 17th hole. To everyone’s surprise Ernie Els birdied the playoff hole to win the Houston Open by one and gain a berth at the Masters.
* Ernie Els won a one hole sudden death playoff over Bohn,Davis, and Schwartzel
Other notable scores: Johnson Wagner 290, Padraig Harrington 288,Phil Mickelson CT, Grame McDowell 289, Lee Westwood 286, Keegan Bradley CT.
Highlight of the Tournament:
Ryan Palmer made a hole in one on the Par 3 16th hole, on Sunday. The Texas native attended Texas A & M and has been on the pro scene for 12 years and has recorded his third Ace according to the PGA media guide. The 204 yd par 3 is in a stadium seating setting surrounding the elevated green surrounded by several traps.