Golf-Henley off to the Masters after winning Houston Open


April 2 (Reuters) - Georgia native Russell Henley locked up the last berth in the U.S. Masters when he surged to a three-stroke victory at the Shell Houston Open in Texas on Sunday.

Henley wielded a hot putter to surge past a faltering Kang Sung-hoon, reeling off three consecutive birdies from the 13th hole at the Golf Club of Houston.

He carded a 65 to finish at 20-under-par 268 for his third PGA Tour victory.

Kang, who needed to win to qualify for the Masters starting on Thursday, never got his final round off the launch pad, battling to a 72.

The South Korean preserved sole second place by sinking a 15-foot par putt at the last to finish at 17-under, a stroke better than Americans Rickie Fowler and Luke List.

A spot in the Masters was reserved for the Houston winner, if not already exempt, and Henley heads to Augusta, Georgia for the year’s first major championship, not far from his hometown of Macon. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Gene Cherry)

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