Welcome to GOLFstats.com! You are currently viewing a special post on GOLFstats.com .
For the best experience and full access to GOLFstats.com, CLICK HERE to sign up for a $15 one month GOLFstats Ultimate account!

BlogWho will win in Houston on Sunday?

Shell Houston Open

April 3 – 6, 2014

Redstone G.C. (Tournament Course)

Humble, Texas

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,441

Purse: $6.4 million

with $1,152,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
D.A. Points

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

Things you need to know before Sunday’s final round:

Matt Kuchar has a four shot lead, is that enough?

Gosh I don’t know.  A person of Kuchar’s talent it should be.  In looking at the third round leads, Kuchar has won twice in the four times he was leading which isn’t that great. Another thing that is not in his favor, look at how Kuchar has been within 5 of the lead he just doesn’t seem to bring home the bacon enough.  Last week was a perfect example, just two back going into the final round, playing in the final group but shot 75.  Things will be different on Sunday, Kuchar will have to be under par to win

What about the weather, will that play a factor?

Yes, the tour is teeing them up early and hoping for a 2:30 – 3 pm finish.  The weatherman is forecasting for 90% chance of rain when they tee off with thunderstorms so we may have a Monday finish.  The good news, the weather is suppose to be better in the afternoon, with the chance of rain going down to 40% at 4pm.  With sunset coming at 7:45 tomorrow there is a lot of time to get things finish, if they get lucky.

Why will Kuchar win tomorrow?

He has played great for 54 holes.  His game was good coming into this week and it showed, he leads in greens hit missing only six greens all week and is 10th in strokes gained putting but more importantly has made 355 feet of putts which is ranked second.  For 54 holes he has only made three bogeys (two of them on 18) so he is playing very consistent golf.  He is on a roll and I think that last week upsets him more than worries him, remember how Bubba Watson led at Phoenix, blew the tournament and then won two weeks later?  I think we will see the same thing on Sunday, Matt will do the deal.

Sergio Garcia is just four back can he make a run?

Absolutely.

He didn’t play that well on Sunday shooting 73, but I can see him winning the week before a major.  He is so jinx that winning on Sunday would hurt him at the Masters, but that is Garcia’s way of doing things, so don’t be surprise to see him shot 65, win and then be flat next week at Augusta.  In looking at Garcia’s stats he is putting very well, when he does that he gets into contention and wins.  You know that Garcia has one-putted 27 of his 54 holes?  Yes he has missed 15 greens, nine more than Kuchar but again when Garcia makes putts he wins.  Remember he won just two months ago in Qatar.

So does Cameron Tringale fit the mold of the other PGA Tour winners of late?

Yes he does.  On the surface we can say that he doesn’t have a chance, just look at his record when he is close, not very good, he has only played once in the final round at the 2011 Valero Texas Open and he shot 73 in the final round to drop into a T5th.  I have a feeling that as much as Tringale would like to win on Sunday, he would be just as happy with a top-three finish.  Right now he is 55th in the FedEx Cup, a third place finish would get him into the top-25 of the FedEx Cup standings, thus giving him a worry free year in which his 2015 card would be guaranteed so that he could then think of making more money.  Will he win, it’s easy for me to say no but I have said it the past five weeks and Steven Bowditch, Matt Every, John Senden, Patrick Reed and Russell Henley have all won, so I will gingerly say this week that anything can happen but I don’t think he will win.

Can anybody else win?

With wet conditions there could be a 63 out there.  Lets say that comes from a J.B. Holmes, Retief Goosen or a Phil Mickelson.  That means they need Matt Kuchar to shot 74 which I don’t think will happen.  But if a Matt Jones who is 9 under does it you never know.  Can Sergio shot 63?  He did it at Colonial in the final round in 2001 and won so yes Sergio is in the running.

Anything else at Stake?

Not really, of course Cameron Tringale and Matt Jones will be looking for that prized first win but more importunely it would give them a spot in the Masters.  Other than that maybe Jon Curran, who is making the most of his sponsor exemption as he is at 6 under and T8th.  If he was to shot 63 and possibly get a second or third place finish, he could get close to getting a spot on the Tour for the rest of the year.  Curran is currently third on the Web.com Tour money list. The 27-year-old won three weeks ago at the Brasil Champions and is doing great on the Web.com Tour.  Still he will be looking for a good check this week.

Below is a list of the top-15 players on the leader board going to five under which are 10 shots back of Kuchar:

Of the top-15 on the leaderboard, who is playing the best:

Player Valero Texas Arnold Palmer Valspar Champ. WGC Cadillac Puerto Rico Honda Classic WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Qatar Masters
Matt Kuchar
(144.17 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP T38
(8)
T13
(37)
DNP DNP T9
(22.5)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sergio Garcia
(133.83 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP T8
(33.33)
T9
(22.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
Chris Stroud
(84.67 pts)
DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP T9
(30)
T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Ryan Palmer
(73.33 pts)
T56
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP T32
(6)
T48
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Cameron Tringale
(64.33 pts)
T46
(4)
T56
(0)
T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP T41
(6)
DNP T12
(12.67)
T13
(12.33)
T12
(12.67)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP
Rickie Fowler
(48.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T44
(6)
DNP T24
(17.33)
3
(45)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
J.B. Holmes
(42.33 pts)
T64
(0)
T10
(40)
T54
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T52
(0)
T61
(0)
T58
(0)
DNP T23
(9)
DNP
Matt Jones
(39.33 pts)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T59
(0)
T45
(1.67)
T12
(12.67)
DNP T43
(2.33)
DNP
Phil Mickelson
(33.67 pts)
WD
(-5)
DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
T42
(2.67)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP
Brice Garnett
(19.33 pts)
T31
(19)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T72
(0)
T75
(0)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP T75
(0)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the top-15 on the leaderboard, who isn’t playing well:

Player Valero Texas Arnold Palmer Valspar Champ. WGC Cadillac Puerto Rico Honda Classic WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Qatar Masters
Shawn Stefani
(-3.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Ben Curtis
(-2 pts)
T46
(4)
DNP T44
(4)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 76
(0)
DNP T74
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Retief Goosen
(3 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T31
(19)
T44
(4)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T65
(0)
T64
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Andres Romero
(10.33 pts)
T46
(4)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T12
(25.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T52
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T47
(1)
DNP
Brice Garnett
(19.33 pts)
T31
(19)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T72
(0)
T75
(0)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP DNP T75
(0)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

In Conclusion:

This is just like Bubba Watson winning at Northern Trust after blowing Phoenix.  I can see Kuchar stroll to victory, but it’s going to take a lot of patience, especially if the weather is bad and they have lot’s of delays.

Kuchar’s game is really sharp, so good that he will be one of the favorites at Augusta next week.  But of course we have seen what has happened on the PGA Tour this year.  Guys like Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott had big third round leads and weren’t able to hold on.  Players with not very good records have come through and win.  Guys shooting 76 are winning like Bowditch last week.  Lot’s of players have backed into wins, we can see it happening again on Sunday.  But it should be Kuchar or Garcia.

Who to watch for at the Shell Houston Open

Best Bets:

Matt Kuchar

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T8 T8 CUT CUT CUT CUT

He has control of this tournament, he is hitting the ball good missing only six greens in the first three rounds. It’s Kuchar’s to win, of course it will be a nervy day and the weather could hinder his nerves even more. Still he has a lot of experience, knows how to win so he should win. But we thought that way last week and saw what happened.

Sergio Garcia

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T77

He has been in this position before and shot a final round 63 to win. This is the type of tournament that Garica wins, unimportant and right before a major which puts him in the hot seat during a major. I can see Garcia winning, but he has to play well

Best of the rest:

Matt Jones

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T38 CUT CUT CUT

Think he is looking more toward a top-three, but if he can get hot early and see Kuchar falter early, he could back into a victory.

Cameron Tringale

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T16 T8 T73

Normally I would say not a chance at all, but so many players have backed into wins. It’s gotten really hard leading on tour and just like I said with Jones, if he could post some good numbers early could back into a win.

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Looking to go to Augusta playing well:

Rickie Fowler

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T63 T65

Playing well after working with Butch Harmon, I can see him shot 68 tomorrow and play well at Augusta

Phil Mickelson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T16 T4 Win T35 CUT T23 T28

In a miserable season some signs of hope on the eve of the Masters. Never count him out, he won’t win this week but will go into Augusta with some momentum.

Speak Your Mind