Number of stroke-play tournament victories for Ian Poulter in the U.S. after the Englishman, renowned for his match-play prowess, won the Houston Open in a sudden-death playoff against Beau Hossler on Sunday and grab the final qualifying spot for this week’s Masters. Poulter sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole, the par-4 18th at Golf Club of Houston’s Tournament Course, to shoot 5-under 67 and tie Hossler (67) at 19-under 269. Poulter won with a par on the first playoff hole, No. 18, after Hossler found three hazards – fairway bunker, greenside bunker and greenside lateral-water hazard – en route to a triple bogey. Poulter, 42, a 10-time winner on the European Tour, rallied from a 1-over 73 in the opening round. American Jordan Spieth (66) and Argentine Emiliano Grillo (68) tied for third at 16-under 272. Poulter had won twice on the PGA Tour: the 2010 WGC Match Play and the 2012 HSBC Champions (scores).
© GOLFFILE/KEN MURRAY
Ian Poulter discusses his playoff victory in the Houston Open, which qualifies the Englishman for this week’s Masters.
Number of sudden-death playoff holes before darkness suspended play between Pernilla Lindberg and Inbee Park in the LPGA’s ANA Inspiration at Rancho Mirage, Calif. Lindberg, Park and Jennifer Song had tied at 15-under 273 after 72 holes at Mission Hills Country Club’s Tournament Course. Each made 5 in two consecutive replays of the par-5 18th hole before Lindberg and Song rolled in birdie putts on the third replay after Song was eliminated with a par. Song, an American, was searching for her first LPGA victory. Lindberg, of Sweden, and Park, of South Korea, matched pars on the fourth playoff hole. They were scheduled to return to the course at 8 a.m. PDT today and play hole No. 10 and, if necessary, the 17th and then 18th (scores).
Number of national champions crowned in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship held at Augusta National Golf Club. Taighan Chea of Bothell, Wash., who competed in the boys’ 7-9 age division, posted the largest margin of victory, winning by five points in the combined scoring for the driving, chipping and putting stations (scores).
Percentage drop in rounds played nationally in February 2018 compared with February 2017, according to industry research firm Golf Datatech’s “National Golf Rounds Played Report.” Higher-than-average precipitation across the eastern two-thirds of the country was cited as a contributing factor for the decline. For the first two months of the year, play in the U.S. is down 7.2 percent compared with the same period in 2017.
Odds for Tiger Woods to win this week’s Masters, which made the four-time Augusta National champion the No. 4 choice of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook handicappers. At 10-1, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth were listed as the co-favorites. Woods had opened in August at 100-1, before he returned from two back surgeries and off-course issues that included a reckless-driving plea and treatment for prescription-medication dependency.
Number of strokes under par that American Sam Burns finished to win the Web.com Tour’s inaugural Savannah Golf Championship. Burns birdied his final three holes at The Landings Club’s Deer Creek Course to shoot 7-under 65 for a 267 total and one-stroke victory. American Roberto Castro (64) placed second at 20-under 268. Burns, 21, turned professional last fall after two college seasons at LSU. He recorded two top finishes on the PGA Tour’s recent Florida Swing, with a T-8 at the Honda Classic and a T-12 at the Valspar Championship (scores).