He appeared to get a slight reprieve Saturday when Fowler fell back with a four-putt double bogey on the 18th hole of the third round.
They were tied with six holes to play when Henley ran off three straight birdies with two short putts on par 5s and a 35-foot putt on the par-3 14th.
The win was Henley's third on the PGA Tour and his first since the 2014 Honda Classic.
Russell Henley with the trophy after winning the Shell Houston Open in Humble, Texas April 2, 2017.
He dropped off the pace with a double bogey two holes later, but a bounceback birdie on No. 10 gave him a share of the lead and was, according to Gjesvold, the key to the round. I feel like there's a lot of room for me to hit the ball coming into the greens. After a bogey on No. 9, Henley got right back on track with a birdie on the 10th.
So Yeon Ryu of South Korea won her second major championship by defeating Lexi Thompson with a birdie on the first playoff hole to end a controversial day and capture the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California.
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Rickie Fowler and Luke List tied for third at 16 under while Daniel Berger was a solo fifth at 13 under.
And no one could stop Russell Henley from storming to victory at the Golf Club of Houston.
The victory means that Henley completes the field for the Masters and being a Georgia resident, will take extra confidence into Augusta, where he has performed well in the past. "Obviously, yeah, I would have like to have gotten off to a better start".
"He's been putting really well since yesterday and the last few days, and then I haven't been putting really well, not like the first two rounds".
Indeed, even an intruder at the last opening couldn't ruin the day as Kang couldn't discover a birdie on the back nine. "I'll keep grinding out and working out and hopefully I can get a chance in the next time for myself".