Sports and Scores
 
Golf
Leaderboard| Tee Times |Schedules and Scores|Statistics|Earnings|Tour:

Hunter Mahan wins Houston Open

(AP Photo/Dave Einsel)

By CHRIS DUNCAN

AP Sports Writer

HUMBLE, Texas (AP) Hunter Mahan doesn't dwell on bad shots anymore, and he says that's leading to more good ones.

Mahan shot a 1-under 71 on Sunday to win the Houston Open, edging out Carl Pettersson by one stroke and becoming the first two-time champion on the tour in 2012.

The 29-year-old Mahan finished 16 under for the tournament and moved to No. 4 in the world ranking, the first time he's ever been the highest-ranked American.

"That's a pretty surreal thing to think about," Mahan said. "It shows me what I can do, shows me what I'm capable of."

The 29-year-old Mahan feels as if he finally has the mental approach to match his physical skills. He credits Canadian sports psychologist Jim Murphy with teaching him to enjoy the game more, and that's led to better results.

"It's easy to let your mind run wild and get down on yourself," Mahan said. "That's what I used to do. I'm trying to pump myself up more and just believe in myself."

Mahan earned his fifth career victory. He has six top-25 finishes in seven starts this year, including a victory over Rory McIlroy in the final of the Match Play Championships in February.

"You've got to enjoy this stuff," Mahan said. "It's kind of an honor and a pleasure to be in these tough situations. This is what you work for, to be in these fun, tough, tight situations."

The new attitude got another pressurized test on Sunday.

Standing on the 18th tee with a one-stroke lead, Mahan confidently hit his tee shot down the middle of the fairway, then knocked his 203-yard approach to 21 feet. He gave caddie John Wood a high-five when the ball landed safely on the green.

"Absolutely awesome," Wood said.

The tournament became the run-up event to the Masters in 2007, and Mahan has never felt better about his game heading to Augusta.

"I feel very capable of playing great golf, and I feel like I showed myself I don't have to be perfect to win," he said. "That's a great thing to feel, for sure."

Pettersson (71) finished with eight pars for his second runner-up finish this year. Third-round leader Louis Oosthuizen (75) was another shot back at 14 under.

Mahan began the day two shots behind Oosthuizen, who lost the lead with two double bogeys on his front nine.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson (71), Keegan Bradley (71), Brian Davis (74) and Jeff Overton (68) all finished 12 under.

Three-time major champion Ernie Els finished 10 under and fell short in his bid to earn an automatic invitation to this week's Masters. Els needed a victory to avoid missing Augusta for the first time since 1993.

"It's not going to change my life, either way," Els said. "I've played many out there. It's one of those things."

The Masters could offer a special invitation to Els, like tournament officials did for Greg Norman in 2002.

Els has played well this year, earning top-five finishes at the Transitions and Bay Hill. But he said Sunday he would decline an invitation if he received one at the last minute.

"To go through all of this, and then get an invite, I wouldn't take it," he said. "They can keep it."

The problems for Oosthuizen began with a three-putt on No. 2. He holed a downhill 45-footer for a birdie on No. 3, but hit his tee shot on No. 5 into a divot and missed the green with his approach. He botched a chip and two-putted from 20 feet.

Oosthuizen pulled his approach to the par-5 8th into the native area, leading to his second double bogey.

"I'm not going to be bothered about the way I played the front nine," Oosthuizen said. "I had a few horrific lies and bounces. It happens."

Mahan parred the first eight holes, then finally took advantage of Oosthuizen's collapse with a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 9. Pettersson missed a 19-foot par putt on No. 10, leaving Mahan in the lead by himself at 16 under.

Mahan found a greenside bunker on No. 14 and bogeyed, then hooked his tee shot to the 204-yard, par-3 16th. He pitched onto the green, and the ball rolled down a slope to within 16 inches for an easy par.

"I thought it was going to be good," Mahan said, "but a tap-in there was huge."

Pettersson left an 18-foot birdie putt short on the 488-yard 18th, the hardest hole on the course, with a pond running down the length of the fairway on the left. Like Els, Pettersson needed a win to earn a trip to Augusta.

Updated April 1, 2012

? © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Audio On Demand

Michael Irvin with Dale a…

Michael Irvin with Dale and Holley

Hall of Famer Michael Irvin checks in with the Dale and Holley show and offers up some perspective on the Seahawks locker room situation, and whether the supposed discord amongst other players and quarterback Russell Wilson is part of the reason why the Seahawks have struggled on the field of late.

Devin McCourty breaks down Pats-Bears 10-24-14

Devin McCourty discusses the dangerous Bears offense.

Adam Schefter, The Broncos are better than last year 10-24-14

Adam Schefter breaks down the Patriots and Darrelle Revis, Russel Wilson and the Seahawks, and Jay Cutler and the Bears

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Ran…

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Ranking the Best/Worst in the NBA

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, Celtics will struggle to make the playoffs. 10-23-14

Jackie MacMullan joins MFB for the first time this season. She discusses the rejection of NBA lottery reform, Rajon Rondo, and the Celtics chances this season.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Kirk Minihane Previews the Celtics

Kirk Minihane joins the We Hate Dwyane Wade Show to preview the upcoming Celtics season. Ben and Sam also discuss the Rajon Rondo/Jeff Green trade rumors and dabble in the classic NBA analytics debate.

Joe Castiglione wraps up …

Joe Castiglione wraps up the 2014 Red Sox Season with a Poem

Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.

Mut and Bradford on the disappointing season for Jackie Bradley, Jr and Xander Bogaerts 9-28-14

Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.

Minor Details Ep. 101: Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett on the state of the Red Sox system

Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.

Joe McDonald, ESPN Boston…

Joe McDonald, ESPN Boston, reacts to the Chara Injury 10-24-14

Joe McDonald joins the guys to talk to about the Chara injury and how the Bruins will move forward without him.

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports, Bruins are playing much better hockey 10-23-14

Pierre McGuire joins the guys to talk about the Bruins, the Johnny Boychuck trade, and the rest of the NHL

Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

We talk pucks with Jack Edwards of NESN for his take on an impressive win over the San Jose Sharks and the state of the B's in general.

Rodney Harrison on Russel…

Rodney Harrison on Russell Wilson 10-24-14

Rodney discussed Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Ebola is in NYC 10-24-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Mike Freeman questions is Russell Wilson is black enough 10-124-14

The guys discussed Freeman's story on Russell Wilson.

Devin McCourty breaks dow…

Devin McCourty breaks down Pats-Bears 10-24-14

Devin McCourty discusses the dangerous Bears offense.

Three For All- Notre Dame Football Player dating Porn Star Lisa Ann

Adam Schefter, The Broncos are better than last year 10-24-14

Adam Schefter breaks down the Patriots and Darrelle Revis, Russel Wilson and the Seahawks, and Jay Cutler and the Bears

Michael Irvin: Seahawks a…

Michael Irvin: Seahawks are exhibit A on why it's so hard to repeat in the NFL

Hall of Famer Michael Irvin checks in with the Dale and Holley show and offers up some perspective on the Seahawks locker room situation, and whether the supposed discord amongst other players and quarterback Russell Wilson is part of the reason why the Seahawks have struggled on the field of late.

Broncos win again in impressive fashion: will the Patriots be able to stop them when it counts?

We discuss another impressive win by Peyton Manning and the Broncos and think long term for the 2014 season about whether or not the Patriots will have enough firepower to beat the Broncos in crunch time: the playoffs.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Boston vs Chicago Edition 10/24/14

We tackle four topics that pit Boston against Chicago in one form or another.

10 Years since the Red So…

10 Years since the Red Sox began their comeback and eventual World Series Championship

Mikey, Villani and Lenny are talking about the 2004 Red Sox on the anniversary of Game 4 of the ALCS with Dave Roberts steal abd Bill Mueller driving him in and what it was like to witness.

The Patriots record during the regular season and Super Bowl

Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about the Patriots and how they have stacked up through the years and what got them to the three championships and five Super Bowl appearances in the Brady-Belichick era.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots Draft History

Mikey and Mut take a call from someone who wants to criticize Belichick the GM and his history of drafting players and making moves in the draft.

SoccerCast - AJ Soares 10…

SoccerCast - AJ Soares 10-23-14

AJ Soares joins the show to talk about the Revs run to the playoffs, how Jermaine Jones has impacted the team, and should Lee Nguyen for MVP.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Ranking the Best/Worst in the NBA

Sausage and Curtis fight back 10-21-14

The Dennis & Callahan Show producers fight back.

Rodney Harrison on Russel…

Rodney Harrison on Russell Wilson 10-24-14

Rodney discussed Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.

More from this show

Kirk Minihane blasts his …

Kirk Minihane blasts his own show, 10-22-14

Sausage and Lumpy, the producers for the D&C show, recorded a podcast yesterday. They left A LOT of stuff on the cutting room floor. Luckily, MFB picked it all up and played the unedited version during the midday show. Kirk joined the show to discuss how hard it is working with Callahan and his two producers.

More from this show

A rainy morning on D&C 10…

A rainy morning on D&C 10-23-14

The guys opened the show discussing the disgusting weather.

More from this show

John Buccigross on hockey…

John Buccigross on hockey's popularity 10-23-14

The guys discussed hockey's place on the American sports landscape.

More from this show

Darrelle Revis sent home …

Darrelle Revis sent home for being late to team meeting: Response and Reaction

We discuss the breaking news that Darrelle Revis was sent home yesterday for being late to scheduled team activities. Was it the right move by Bill Belichick? We discuss.

More from this show

Weei Writers