Johnson Wagner, a 1998 James I. O’Neill graduate, came up just short of winning his fourth PGA Tour event and earning a spot in The Masters Thursday.
Wagner’s 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the Shell Houston Open put him in a playoff with Jordan Spieth and J.B. Holmes at 16-under-par.
Wagner, bidding for his first tour win since Jan. 15, 2012, was defeated by Holmes on the second hole of the playoff. If Wagner, 35, would have won, he would have qualified for The Masters.
The second-place finish netted Wagner $580,800 and moved him from 180th to 81st in the FedEx Cup standings. Wagner, who won the 2008 Houston Open, was playing in the tournament under a sponsor’s exemption. He jumped for 172nd to 59th ($696,396) on the tour’s money list, which should help Wagner return to full status next season.
Wagner’s birdie putt was the shot of the day on the PGA Tour’s website.
Wagner hit another clutch shot on the first playoff hole, hitting out of the bunker to within two feet for a par putt.