Henley has played 13 consecutive rounds on the Golf Club of Houston course under par, starting with a closing 66 in 2014, when he tied for seventh, eight under par and seven shots back of victor Matt Jones. He managed to catch Sung-hoon Kang despite double bogeying from the bunker on the par-three ninth.
Henley then calmly canned a 6-foot putt for par on the par-3 16th; when Kang missed for birdie from inside Henley's putt it all but handed the tournament to the Georgia alum.
New Zealand golfer Danny Lee has slipped in the final round of the Houston Open, falling 10 places to finish 20th at the PGA Tour event won by Russell Henley.
If Rickie Fowler is going to win the Shell Houston Open on Sunday, he'll have to play the finishing holes at the Golf Club of Houston a lot better than he has so far this week.
Fowlers chances disappeared after he played the first four holes in three-over, but he did gain some vital Augusta momentum with a back-nine fightback as he birdied holes 12, 13, 15 and 17 to finish strongly.
Kang, like Henley needing a win to qualify for the Masters starting on Thursday, never got his final round off the launch pad, battling to a 72.
Russell Henley has earned a berth in the Masters with a comeback win in the PGA's Houston Open.
"I wasn't expecting to go back to Augusta, " he said.
Because 81 players made the cut after the second round, there was a 54-hole cut to the top 70 players and ties.
"When he gets rolling with his putter, I've seen him just make everything", said caddie Todd Gjesvold. "Obviously, yeah, I would have liked to have gotten off to a better start". A missed 4½-foot putt followed for a double bogey. "I'm not looking at the last two holes".
He produced seven birdies and an eagle at the par-five eighth hole, where he rolled in a 30-footer. Thompson had marked a 1-foot putt with a coin on the 17th green during her third round, but she replaced the ball perhaps 1 inch out of position.
He was the 18-hole pace-setter (by one) with 64, dropped to solo 4th with 71, and began the final frame in solo 2nd, three shy of overnight leader Sung Kang.
It was Henley's first win since a playoff victory over Rory McIlroy in the 2014 Honda Classic.