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Golf: Stenson in but Siem comes up short in Masters bid

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Sweden's Henrik Stenson will qualify to play in his eighth consecutive Masters after firing a six-under par 66 on Sunday at the Houston Open, but Germany's Marcel Siem will miss out on Augusta.

Siem captured the European Tour's Hassan 11 Trophy in Morocco on Sunday and had moved to 49th in the projected world rankings list after his third Race to Dubai victory.

But Stenson clinched a strong finish at the storm-interrupted US PGA event in Houston by seizing the clubhouse final-round lead on 15-under 273, and was assured of jumping from 53rd in the world rankings and ahead of Siem.

The German will not crack the top 50 in the world rankings on Monday to book a Masters spot.

American Russell Hendley, who only needed a top-53 showing in Houston to reach 50th in the world, was sharing 45th after a final-round 68, meaning he would jump to 50th and bump Siem to 51st.

Stenson, who turns 37 on Friday, needed at least a top-10 finish to continue an unbroken Augusta appearance streak since making his Masters debut in 2006.

Stenson, whose lone US PGA title came at the 2009 Players Championship, was excited about reaching the Masters even as he finished at Houston.

"I said to my caddy coming up the 18th that no matter what happens now we are playing for the chance of a green jacket in a couple of weeks," Stenson said.

"That was the main goal coming to Houston, to get to myself into the Masters, and I knew if I could finish top-10 I would take care of that goal."

At one stage, Stenson had slumped to 230th in the world rankings and missed five cuts in six tournaments starting from the 2011 Masters.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130331/golf-stenson-siem-comes-short-masters-bid