Hearn ties for 6th at Houston Open

Ed O'Leary, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:45 PM ET

Brantford, Ontario's David Hearn passed the stiffest test of his professional career Sunday tying for sixth in the $5.9 million Shell Houston Open at the Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Tex.

“I knew there was a lot on the line and it was going to be a challenging day,” Hearn said after shooting a one-under-par 71 while playing in the third last twosome of the day with young PGA superstar Anthony Kim.

“I stayed consistent and steady. I was proud of the way I played.”

The 31-year-old, who represents the Brantford Golf and Country Club in PGA Tour events, finished the 72-hole event at 12-under 276 and earned $205,025 to bump his earnings for this season to $294,139.

American Phil Mickelson shot a seven-under 65 Sunday following a nine-under 63 Saturday to win the tournament championship with a 20-under total of 268.

“Most guys would play their entire career to have a weekend like that,” said Hearn.

“It was pretty incredible. That's why he's one of the best in the world.”

Hearn's previous biggest payday was the $81,000 he earned for winning the Alberta Open on the Nationwide Tour in 2004.

Hearn won $61,250 when he tied for 14th at the Puerto Rico Open in early March.

Hearn, who shot a spectacular six-under 66 Saturday while playing with PGA Tour star Steve Stricker and former PGA Tour winner Vaughn Taylor, will jump from 154th to 85th on the PGA Tour's money list.

Hearn gets a vacation this week as the Masters is being played in Augusta, Ga., but he'll be back to work for the $6.2 million Valero Texas Open on April 14 to 17 at the TPC San Antonio in San Antonio, Tex.

“I was going to look on today as a learning experience whether I played well or not,” said Hearn, who recorded his first top-10 PGA Tour finish.

“Obviously, I wanted to achieve and be successful.”

Hearn noted that the high winds predicted to blow over the course Sunday didn't materialize.

“It blew but just a little bit,” he said.

It didn't look as though it was going to be Hearn's day Sunday as he finished the front nine at one-over 37.

He missed an eight-foot par putt on the third hole and a 10-foot birdie putt rolled over the right edge of the cup on the seventh hole.

Hearn made a nine-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole but took a bogey on the difficult par-three ninth.

Hearn got back to even par when he made a three-foot birdie putt on the par-five 11th hole and he went to one-under when he snaked in a 32-footer for birdie on the par-three 16th.

Hearn, who must have felt the weight of the world on his shoulders for the final two holes, chipped and putted for par on the par-four 17th and then two-putted from 64 feet for par on the par-four 18th.

“I just tried not to get ahead of myself,” Hearn said. “I hit a few lips on the front nine.”

Hearn noted that it was enjoyable playing with Kim.

“He's a good guy to play with,” said Hearn. “His caddy is a Canadian kid from Moncton, N.B.”

Hearn's round Saturday included one double bogey, one bogey and nine birdies.

“Yesterday was so much fun,” he said. “All the putts were going in.

“When you get playing well, you realize it's just you and the golf course and you play as well as you can.

“It was dead calm and the course was in amazing shape.”

Hearn noted that playing in a group with Stricker and Taylor helped.

“Stricker is a really good guy to play with and I know Taylor a little bit,” said Hearn, who played the PGA Tour in 2005 and earned his way back on this year by placing 21st on the Nationwide Tour's money list last year.

“It was a really comfortable group.”


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