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Houston Open: Expert Picks

Don’t let me down Russell, you should be a top 5 lock.

Shell Houston Open - Final Round Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Tournament Information

Houston Open

Date: March 29th – April 1st

Course: Golf Club of Houston

Purse: $7MM ($1.3MM to winner)

FedEx points: 500 to winner

2017 Winner: Russell Henley (-20)

Course

Golf Club of Houston founded in 2003 and designed by Rees Jones, this 7,440 par 72 course claims to attempt to replicate Augusta as the precursor to the Masters. It prides itself on its lush mature forestry, plants and wetlands as it is largely void of houses and attempts to keep things quiet and peaceful. The greens tend to be fast and bunkers line many of the roughs along the fairways. Placement is key.

My Starting 4

Charles Howell III. He was 5th at the Houston Open in 2015 and 7th here in 2016, he slipped a bit to 39th last year with a Saturday and Sunday round at par. His last 10 tournaments have produced 3 top ten finishes, 5 top 20 finishes and 2 missed cuts. Solid all around, he’s 12th in strokes gained tee to green this year.

Daniel Berger. Quietly putting together a good season, Daniel has 7 top 25 finishes in his last 10 tournaments. He’s has finished in the top 25 each of the last 3 years here including top 5 finishes each of the last two years. He is putting well (29thin strokes gained) and he’s 43rd in total strokes gained.

Russell Henley. Here is your true north at the Houston Open. While he’s had modest success this year with 3 top 25 finishes and two missed cuts over his last ten tournaments, it’s his pedigree at Golf Club of Houston that really stands out. Top 5 finishes each of the last 3 years and not a single round at or above par in any of those three years. He’s driving the ball well presently at 31st in strokes gained off the tee (16th in driving accuracy).

Luke List. Currently 19th in FedEx Cup rankings, he’s having a strong stretch. After 3 missed cuts earlier this year he’s finished in the top 26 in six of the last seven tournaments (the only outlier being match play last week). He’s 11th in strokes gained off the tee, 25th in strokes gained around the green and 11th in strokes gained tee to green.

My Bench 2

Scott Piercy. 4 top 20 finishes and 2 missed cuts in the last 10 tournaments. He was 10th here in 2015 and 19th in 2016. He’s 3rd in strokes gained approaching the green and 15th in strokes gained tee to green.

Keegan Bradley. Not the flashiest finishes but he has two top ten and only one missed cut in the last ten tournaments. He’s had a number of mid 30’s finishes. Not ideal but it could be worse. He finished 5th in 2015 and 15th in 2017. He’s 6th in strokes gained approaching the green and 7th in strokes gained tee to green. Accuracy being key, he’s 18th in driving accuracy.

Poll

Which of the marquee names will do the best at the Houston Open?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Jordan Spieth
    (11 votes)
  • 28%
    Henrik Stenson
    (23 votes)
  • 30%
    Phil Mickelson
    (25 votes)
  • 27%
    Rickie Fowler
    (22 votes)
81 votes total Vote Now

2018 Avg Stats

Starting 4: Avg Finish 46th (36th percentile)

Bench 2: Avg Finish 38th place (31st percentile)