Shell Houston Open
When: March 31st - April 3rd
Where: Golf Club of Houston
2015 Winner: JB Holmes (-16)
The format of this will go: I will select golfers based on the Yahoo format. I will select one A golfer, 2 B golfers and 1 C golfer that I think will do well as well as one dark horse pick, this should space out the selections and provide a vast field to select from for anyone who is in a format where you are limited to 10 starts per year.
Golf Club of Houston: Established in 2003, the Tournament Course was designed by Rees Jones and David Toms. This course provides a roadmap to follow but if you stray you get punished so precision is key. The fairways and greens are generous but surrounded by hills, bunkers and water traps. Water is thematic here, you will see it often which can punish much more than a bunker hammering in the need for accuracy.
Keegan Bradley. After a strong 2015 Keegan has been a pittance of that form so far in 2016. The 8 year vet out of St. Johns University has missed the cut in 5 of his 7 tournaments in 2016. The two he didn't miss the cut (Arnold Palmer - 36th, Waste Management Phoenix Open - 24th) are also courses with generous areas on greens to land on if you just hit your shot. Keegan is in the top 20 in accuracy approaching the greens. Keegan will have a strong tournament as he has historically at Shell Houston Open. He finished 4th here in 2012, 10th here in 2013, 43rd here in 2014 and 5th here last year.
Cameron Tringale. The 7 year vet out of Georgia Tech is also struggling in 2016. He has missed the cut on 4 of his 7 tournaments this year but much like Keegan he's been boom or bust (CareerBuilder - 14th, Northern Trust - 68th and Arnold Palmer - 27th). He's 19th in going for the green - birdie or better 61st all around ranking and 33 in total putting. He has the capability to approach the green and then capitalize. His record here is 8th in 2012, 16th in 2013, 4th in 2014 and 5th in 2015.
Patrick Reed. There is a lot to this pick. 1. He's grouped with Jordan Spieth and I'm curious how he'll fare, whether or not they can be positive or negative forces with each other given Jordans frustrations at Match Play. 2. Reed has back to back top 10 finishes after a rough patch of four 50+ finishes in 5 tournaments. 3. He's top 100 in driving accuracy, driving distance, going for the green and putting average. He missed the cut here in 2013 but finished 17th in 2015.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello. The exceptional play from the 11 year vet out of University of Las Palmas at WGC Match Play has me on board. Additionally he has an 11th place finish at the World Golf Championships. He is excellent on approaching the green and if he can harness any of the magic he used at the Match Play he'll be a top 20 finish here easy.
**I wanted to go Steve Stricker here, a very consistent ball striker, he could see success here but I'll ride the hot hand of Rafa instead.
Dark Horse Pick.
Jason Gore. He has yet to miss a cut this season. He is 3rd on the tour in accuracy approaching the greens which should bode well on the Tournament Course. Finally, he finished 19th in his one appearance here in 2014.
Last tournament results - Coco Beach Golf and Country Club (132 total field) (De Jonge, McGirt, Pinckney, Noh and S. Brown)
A: 60th place
B: 87th place, 26th place
C: 120th place
Dark Horse: 5th place
YTD Avg: (Average field of 130 people)
A: 35th place
B: 30th place
C: 51st place
Dark Horse: 42nd place