J.B. Holmes wins Houston Open in three-way playoff

Sun Apr 5, 2015 7:46pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Long-hitting J.B. Holmes completed a perfect Masters tune-up when he won the Houston Open in a three-way playoff on Sunday.

Holmes came from six strokes behind in the final round with a sizzling eight-under-par 64 that included nine birdies in the first 12 holes at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble.

Three hours after posting a 16-under 272 total, he made a tap-in par at the second extra hole, the par-four 18th, to outlast fellow American Johnson Wagner, who missed a five-foot par putt.

Overnight leader Jordan Spieth was eliminated at the first extra hole.

Holmes collected $1.188 million for his fourth PGA Tour victory. The 33-year-old had already qualified for the Masters, the first major of the year starting on Thursday. He has played the tournament once.

"It was just a great day for me and it ended good too," Holmes told reporters.

"I didn't tee off expecting to win today. It's a nice surprise. I started out with five birdies. After that I thought I had a chance."

Wagner, who played on a sponsor exemption, needed to win to punch his ticket to Augusta, and he gave himself a chance when he sank a 25-foot putt at the 72nd hole to join the playoff.

“Birdieing 18 to even get into the playoff was pretty incredible,” he said. “I’m pretty bummed right now, but a lot of good stuff going on.”   Continued...

Apr 2, 2015; Humble, TX, USA; J.B. Holmes tees off during the first round of the Shell Houston Open at Golf Club of Houston - The Tournament Course. Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports