Needing a fourth place finish to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking at week’s end, Howell’s final-round 6-under 66 at the Shell Houston Open left him agonizingly short of receiving an invitation.
“It was a good effort, but unfortunately good efforts don't get that invitation to Augusta,” he said after the round. “I gave myself a chance out there, and I thought I needed probably 8 under today and that looks like that may be correct.”
Howell maintained that he won’t look back on what might have been.
“I'm not going to go down the road of disappointment,” he explained. “I would love to be in the golf tournament; so would 300 million other golfers. I played well this year and, you know, I'm going to watch the tournament on TV. It's just horrible to watch on TV, to be honest.”
Though one more invitation remains for the winner of the Valero Texas Open, Howell elected not to commit to the field in search of that golden ticket.
“I thought my best chance of getting in was top 50 world rank,” said Howell, who was 57th entering the week. “I’ve played a ton of golf. I'm a little tired, to be honest. I've played a boatload of tournaments trying to get into Augusta, and I thought my best chance was top 50 world ranking for this week and I prepared for it as best I could.”
Last year, Howell finished T-19 at the Masters after failing to qualify in each of the three previous years.