Ian Poulter and Beau Hossler, looking for Masters spot, share lead in Houston

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Poulter and Beau Hossler, looking for Masters spot, share lead in Houston

PGA Tour

Ian Poulter and Beau Hossler, looking for Masters spot, share lead in Houston

Here is a recap of the third round of the Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston:

LEADING: Ian Poulter may be on the verge of something special.

Just a week ago, the Englishman was told incorrectly he’d earned a Masters berth. He hadn’t, and he went on to lose his next match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play – unfortunately ensuring his spot at Augusta was still elusive. After that, only a win in Houston would get him a last-minute Masters spot. Well…

Poulter opened in 1-over 73 in Houston to sit T-123 but followed up with a stunning 64-65 in the next 36 holes to rocket to the 54-hole co-lead. At 14 under, he is tied at the top with Beau Hossler.

Poulter’s Saturday round was flawless, as he put up seven birdies and was bogey-free in making up a four-shot deficit. The Englishman has not won since 2012. If he could pull through on Sunday, it would mean an end to a six-year win drought and his third PGA Tour title.

But it’d also mean he’s in the Masters. What a story that would be after such a near-miss just a week ago.

Hossler winning would also be a big story. The 23-year-old fell from the outright lead to a share, but he put together a good Saturday with a 3-under 69. It ended with a birdie, too, to keep him on top. Hossler was a junior and college star who just six years ago led during the second round of the U.S. Open as a 17-year-old.

Hossler is in his first full PGA Tour season and looking for his first Tour win and Masters berth. Both are tantalizingly close. For either co-leader, a Sunday win would be unbelievably special.

CHASING: Four players are tied for third at 12 under. Those would be Paul Dunne, Kevin Tway, Emiliano Grillo and Greg Chalmers. Five more are tied for seventh at 11 under. Matt Kuchar and Henrik Stenson are among those in the group three back.

SHOT OF THE DAY: A wonderful birdie for Scott Brown, who ended up struggling to a 1-over 73. In a tie for 76th at 2 under, he will unfortunately be saddled with an MDF. Regardless, this was a pretty shot:

SHORT SHOTS: Rickie Fowler was the solo leader after three birdies in his first four holes moved him to 13 under. But he plummeted from there. Fowler double bogeyed the sixth, and while he played his next six holes in 1 under, that double was some damage done. It became way worse with a triple bogey (four-putting from 13 feet) at the par-5 13th. That dropped him to 9 under, where he would finish (thanks to a 1-over 73). He goes from a tie for second to T-17. … Jordan Spieth can only muster a 71 and is T-13 at 10 under. … Defending champion Russell Henley is tied for 48th at 6 under. … Phil Mickelson posts 72 to drop 13 spots to a tie for 55th at 5 under. … Ernie Els is T-65 at 4 under. … Lee Westwood struggles to a 76. At 1 under, he posts an MDF. That means the Englishman is out this week. He needed a win to get to the Masters, so Westwood has now been eliminated from any chance of being in the field at Augusta.

UP NEXT: The final round takes place Sunday at the Golf Club of Houston. Follow all the action on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home