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Sutton Cracks the Shell in Houston

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Three-hundred-and-sixty-five days after winning his last PGA Tour event, Hal Sutton won once again.

Sutton erased a two-shot overnight deficit by shooting an impressive 3-under-par 69 in very windy conditions to capture the Shell Houston Open.
 
Free Video - Registration Required Sutton comments on his Shell Houston Open win
 
This weeks victory was sweet redemption for the Louisiana native. Sutton finished runner-up in Houston in 1994 and 99.
 
Two years ago, he took a two-shot lead into the final round, but shot 75 on Sunday to finish one shot back of champion Stuart Appleby.
 
This is one that I wanted more than anything, said Sutton, who collected $612,000. Ive been close here so many times, so close yet so far, so this is really good. I knew it would be tough. Today, it helped to be packed with patience.
 
At 10-under-par 278, Sutton finished three shots clear of Lee Janzen and 54-hole leader Joe Durant.
 
For the seventh straight tournament, Janzen failed to break 70 in the final round. Winless since his 1998 U.S. Open triumph, he posted a 1-over-par 73.
 
Durant, seeking his third victory of the season, birdied his first hole Sunday, but then missed a pair of par putts inside three feet on the 2nd and 3rd holes.
 
That birdie at the first proved to be his last. Durant posted 14 pars and one bogey over his final 15 holes for a round of 2-over-par 74.
 
Durants bogey at the 3rd combined with a Sutton birdie at the 2nd gave Sutton sole possession of the lead at 9-under.
 
For the day, Sutton carded five birdies, but it was a bogey that saved his round.
 
Still leading at minus 9, Sutton hit his approach shot on the par-4 7th into the water guarding the front of the green. After placing his fourth shot 25 feet behind the hole, Sutton salvaged a bogey by sinking the putt.
 
That (bogey) was the turning point for me, said the 42-year-old. I could have come away with my confidence damaged, but I felt great.
 
Confidence intact, he carried that momentum into the next hole, lacing a 3-iron from 202 yards to within 15 feet of the hole at the par-3 8th. Sutton dropped the birdie putt to once again claim the outright lead at 9-under.
 
Another birdie at the 10th gave Sutton a two-shot cushion over Durant at 10-under.
 
Janzen bogeyed the 8th and double bogeyed the 9th to fall five off the pace. He tried to mount a late comeback by birdieing the 13th, 15th and 17th holes, but three-putted the home hole to tie for second place.
 
Following four straight pars, Sutton made his first mistake on the back nine at the par-5 15th. A missed fairway resulted in an errant lay-up. Playing from the rough, Suatton came up short of the green with his third shot.
 
Saturday, Sutton rolled in a 4-wood from off the green for an eagle at the 15th. He tried the same tactic on Sunday, but barely reached the green. He two-putted from 12 feet for a bogey 6.
 
Suttons lead was cut to one; however, Durant wasnt able to get any closer.
 
Durant failed to birdie the 15th, and then came up woefully short of the green on the par-3 16th. He bogeyed the hole to fall to 7-under.
 
Sutton then clinched the tournament by sinking a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th. His round of 69 tied for the low score of the day.
 
Whoever was in control of the wind had it turned all the way up, Sutton said. It tests your nerves and what you have inside of you.
 
Sutton will now head to Greensboro, NC, where he will try and defend his title at the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic.
 
Full-field scores from the Shell Houston Open