Mahan settles as highest-ranked American golfer

Hunter Mahan lines up his birdie putt on the second hole during the final round of the Shell Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club on April 1, 2012 in Humble, Texas (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)
Golfer Hunter Mahan has hit form ahead of this week's Masters. He will enter the season's first major as the highest-ranked American after victory in the Houston Open.

The American started the final day at the Red Stone Golf Club two shots behind South African Louis Oosthuizen who faded with a three-over 75.

Carl Petterson emerged as Mahan's closest rival, moving to within a shot of the lead after making a birdie on the fourth. However, the Swede couldn't overhaul Mahan. A magic chip kept the American’s nose in front on the 16th, and his par on the last wrapped up the victory.

In the end, Mahan edged Pettersson by one stroke, while Oosthuizen was another shot back. This was the second victory in the PGA tour for the 29 year old this season following his success at the match play championship in February. He had won three majors before 2012.

Mahan moved up to number four in the world rankings – the first time he has ever been the highest-ranked American.

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