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BlogShell Houston Preview and Picks

Shell Houston Open

March 31st – April 3rd, 2016

Golf Club of Houston (Tournament Course)

Humble, Texas

Par: 72 / Yardage:

Purse: $6.8 million

with $1,224,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
J.B. Holmes

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 38 of the top 100 and 17 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with five players from the top-ten: #2 Jordan Spieth, #5 Rickie Fowler, #7 Henrik Stenson, #9 Dustin Johnson and #10 Patrick Reed. The other top 50 players are #11 Louis Oosthuizen, #15 Sergio Garcia, #18 Brooks Koepka, #20 Phil Mickelson, #21 Charl Schwartzel, #23 J.B. Holmes, #24 Jimmy Walker, #32 Shane Lowry, #36 Rafael Cabrera Bello, #40 Bernd Wiesberger, #41 Thongchai Jaidee, #48 Scott Piercy.

Last year was also 21 top-50 players

The field includes 7 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2016.  Those players are #16 Charl Schwartzel, #17 Patrick Reed, #18 Rickie Fowler, #19 Phil Mickelson, #20 Kevin Chappell, #24 Charles Howell III and #25 Tony Finau.

The field includes 7 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players are #13 Patrick Reed, #15 Phil Mickelson, #16 Rickie Fowler, #17 Charl Schwartzel, #20 Kevin Chappell, #21 Louis Oosthuizen and #24 Vaughn Taylor.

The field includes 9 past champions: J.B. Holmes (2015), Matt Jones (2014), D.A. Points (2013), Hunter Mahan (2012), Phil Mickelson (2011), Johnson Wagner (2008), Stuart Appleby (2006 & 1999), Vijay Singh (2005, ’04 & ’02) and Robert Allenby (2000).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Shell Houston Open field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Shell Houston Open in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Shell Houston Open.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

**NOTE**

One thing to look for is our new GOLFstats IQ.  For those that play in fantasy golf it’s a perfect way to help you pick those players in Draft Kings and Victiv games.  You can customize the list of those in the tournaments, to look back a couple or many years of tournament stats and you can go back a couple or ten weeks prior to the tournament.  On top of that, all the stats are fully sortable to help you pick your six players, we even give you their value for the week to help you chose.

That’s GOLFstats IQ, give it a try and tell us what you think of it

24/7 GOLF

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We have the perfect solution for you.  If you own a Iphone or a Ipad we have developed a perfect app called 24/7 GOLF.

It gives you everything that you need to know about golf, you have all the players results and every tournament result, again at your fingertips.  It’s very easy to use and you can take a good amout of GOLFstats with you everyplace.  No need to get home and check things out on your computer at home, you can answer any question with your Ipad.

So check it out, just hit this link to get 24/7 GOLF:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 12.01.34 AM

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Shell Houston Open

Player WGC-Dell Match Play Puerto Rico Arnold Palmer Indian Open Valspar Thailand Classic WGC-Cadillac Honda Classic Handa Perth Northern Trust Malaysian Open AT&T Pebble Tshwane Open
Louis Oosthuizen
(354.33 pts)
2
(150)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(55)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP
Charl Schwartzel
(260.33 pts)
T18
(48)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP T45
(3.33)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
Dustin Johnson
(197.33 pts)
T5
(105)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP 4
(53.33)
DNP T41
(3)
DNP
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(183.33 pts)
3
(135)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP DNP
Scott Brown
(178.67 pts)
DNP T5
(70)
T27
(23)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP T39
(7.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Brooks Koepka
(164.67 pts)
T5
(105)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(27)
T26
(16)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP
Phil Mickelson
(160 pts)
T18
(48)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 5
(70)
T37
(8.67)
DNP DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP
Henrik Stenson
(151 pts)
DNP DNP T3
(90)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP T28
(22)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sergio Garcia
(147 pts)
T18
(48)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(39)
2
(66.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Patrick Reed
(135.83 pts)
T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(55)
DNP T52
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(20)
DNP
Jordan Spieth
(135.5 pts)
T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP DNP T18
(32)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP
Tony Finau
(115.67 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
T43
(7)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Chappell
(112.67 pts)
DNP DNP 2
(100)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T26
(16)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Rickie Fowler
(108 pts)
T38
(18)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T8
(50)
T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Graham Delaet
(102.33 pts)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Patton Kizzire
(100.5 pts)
T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP DNP T33
(17)
DNP DNP T26
(16)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Steve Marino
(98.67 pts)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP 34
(5.33)
DNP
Charley Hoffman
(90 pts)
T38
(18)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(39)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP T63
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Rodolfo Cazaubon
(90 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jimmy Walker
(89 pts)
T38
(18)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 6
(60)
T43
(4.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T11
(13)
DNP
Jason Kokrak
(86.67 pts)
DNP DNP T20
(30)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP
Jamie Lovemark
(86.33 pts)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP T37
(13)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP DNP DNP
Nick Taylor
(82.67 pts)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T26
(16)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP
Retief Goosen
(80 pts)
DNP T21
(29)
T46
(4)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP T43
(4.67)
DNP T45
(3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Jamie Donaldson
(79 pts)
T18
(48)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T35
(15)
T26
(16)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Shell Houston Open

Player WGC-Dell Match Play Puerto Rico Arnold Palmer Indian Open Valspar Thailand Classic WGC-Cadillac Honda Classic Handa Perth Northern Trust Malaysian Open AT&T Pebble Tshwane Open
Peter Malnati
(-43.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP
Robert Allenby
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Scott Stallings
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Brendon De Jonge
(-33.33 pts)
DNP T60
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Morgan Hoffmann
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Andres Gonzales
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Russell Henley
(-30 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
James Hahn
(-30 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Michael Kim
(-26.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Charlie Beljan
(-25 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP WD
(-5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Playing the week before a major

In looking at the field there are seven players #2 Jordan Spieth, #5 Rickie Fowler, #7 Henrik Stenson, #9 Dustin Johnson, #10 Patrick Reed, #11 Louis Oosthuizen and #15 Sergio Garcia that are ranked in the top-15 and playing in Houston.  On top of that 33 of those playing next week in the Masters are in the field (Daniel Berger, Steven Bowditch, Keegan Bradley, Angel Cabrera, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Jamie Donaldson, Ernie Els, Harris English, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Charley Hoffman, J.B. Holmes, Thongchai Jaidee, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Davis Love III, Shane Lowry, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen, Scott Piercy, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwartzel, Vijay Singh, Cameron Smith, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Streelman, Vaughn Taylor, Jimmy Walker, Mike Weir, Lee Westwood and Bernd Wiesberger. This is a testimonial for what the folks that run the Shell Houston have done in getting the course set up the way it is.

Now the disadvantage of playing the week before a major is peaking too soon.  Hunter Mahan has won twice the week before a major, at Houston in 2012 and Bridgestone in 2011 and he was flat at the next major. Same with Lee Westwood, both of his PGA Tour wins came the week before a major and he wasn’t in the running the next week.  You always want to win no matter if it’s a major or the week before a major, but winning takes a lot out of you and we can tell you of a lot players that are mentally fried and not able to keep it going the week after winning especially at a major.

Now on the other end just look at what happen to Phil Mickelson lin 2013.  He won the Scottish Open and it help get his game in shape for the British Open.  This isn’t the first time that Phil has done that, in 2006 Mickelson won in Atlanta and then won the next week at the Masters.  There is no right or wrong answer on this, it’s all what you feel.  But I leave you with one big thought on this, if the purse for the Shell Houston was say $3 million instead of $6.8 million and if first place was just $500,000 compared to over a million dollars, I bet you a lot of players would take the week off.  Greed at times can be wonderful and frankly a lot of players wouldn’t care less about a major if they could win a million the week before.

This is the last shot for players to get into the Masters.  It’s win this week or take next week off.  A couple in the field this week have some reasons for playing and winning.  For these the week of the Masters has been a regular routine for years and since they don’t have an invite are dying to get in:

  • Padraig Harrington has played the last 15 years, has had four top-tens.
  • Stewart Cink missed last year but before that played 17 of 18 years missing just in 2003.
  • Retief Goosen has played in 13 Masters, the last in 2011.  He has been runner-up twice and 3rd twice.
  • Steve Stricker has played in 15 Masters, including the last nine in a row.  His only top-ten was in 2009 when he finished T-6th.
  • K.J. Choi played in 12 straight Masters between 2003 and 2014.  He has finished in the top-ten, three times.
  • Robert Allenby has played in 12 Masters but hasn’t played since 2011
  • Stuart Appleby has played in 14 Masters but hasn’t played since 2011.  In 2007 he went into Sunday with the lead, shot 75 and finished T-7th
  • Geoff Ogilvy has played in 8 Masters, last one was last year.  He finished T-4th in 2011.

One other that I know also wants to get in is Charles Howell III.  For Howell he is a Augusta native and has come close to quailifying.  He has played in eight Masters, the last in 2012.  These nine aren’t the only ones, everyone in the field this week not in the Masters would love that last minute invite.

Last, but not least have to talk about Tiger Woods.  We still don’t know his status for the Masters, but everyone thinks the odds are long on him playing.  Last year at this time Tiger dropped out of the top-100 of the world rankings for the first time since October of 1996.  Woods slide is growing faster this week he is 472 and he could easily be out of the top-1000 by this time next year.  Amazing to think that the last time Tiger wasn’t in the top-100 of the rankings, these things were happening:

  • LPGA star Lydia Ko wasn’t even born and Jordan Spieth had just turn three years-old
  • The week that Woods got into the top-100 with his 1996 Las Vegas win, Greg Norman was celebrating his 68th straight week as #1 golfer.
  • If you bought $1,000 of Apple stock on October 6th, 1996 and stuck it under the mattress, that stock today would be worth just over $215,000.
  • A share of Berkshire Hathaway sold for $28,500 a share in 1996 and today it’s $212,125.

Things you need to know about the Shell Houston Open

This will be the 69th edition of the Shell Houston Open, which was formerly called the Houston Open.  This is its eleventh year at the Golf Club of Houston which use to be called Tournament Course at Redstone.  This course was created especially with the Shell Houston Open in mind. In prior years the tournament was held across the street at the Members Course at Redstone between 2003 and 2005.  Before that, the TPC at the Woodlands had been the site between 1985 and 2002.  Courses used before 1985 include the West course at the Woodlands, River Oaks C.C., Memorial Park G.C., Pine Forest C.C., Brae Burn C.C., Sharpstown C.C., Champions G.C., Westwood G.C. and Quail Valley G.C.  The first Shell Houston Open was played in 1946 and was called the Tournament of Champions. Byron Nelson beat Ben Hogan that year by two strokes at River Oaks.

Course information:

Redstone G.C. (Tournament Course)

  • Humble, Tx.
  • 7,441 yards     Par 36-36–72
  • The tournament course at Redstone features a course rating of 76.0 and a slope rating from the back tees of 144. The tees, fairway, and rough are TifSport bermudaGrass as the greens are Miniverde bermudagrass. The course is a semi private course and can be played by the public.
  • The average green size at Redstone is 6,500 square feet, which is a little larger than average on the PGA Tour. The course has 50 bunkers and water comes into play on 10 holes.
  • In 2015 Golf Club of Houston was the 41st hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 70.855 average, playing 1.145 strokes over par.
  • In 2014 Golf Club of Houston was the 23rd hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 72.245 average, playing .245 strokes over par.
  • In 2013 the Redstone was the 25th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 71.868 average, playing .132 strokes under par.
  • Golf Club in Houston is an anomaly. It’s a relatively new course with a history, located on the site of the former El Dorado Country Club. Designed by Jay Riviere, El Dorado Country Club opened in the 1960s but was closed in the early 1990s as a victim of a suffering Houston economy following the oil bust.
  • Golf Club in Houston is one of only a couple dozen courses in the country that are open to the public and host a PGA Tour event. It was designed by Rees Jones with PGA Tour Professional David Toms serving as course design consultant.
  • The course has a variation of different holes, but what sticks out are the short par 4s.  Four of them are under 400 yards (holes 1, 3, 10 & 12) but they’re offset by four par 4s that are longer than 460 yards (holes 5, 6, 17 & 18).  It also has a killer finish with the par 3, 16th hole playing at 204 yards and the final two holes playing at 489 and 488 yards.  The last hole was the hardest hole on the course last year playing to a 4.412 average

Let’s take a look at key stats that are important for those playing at the Golf Club of Houston:

This is based on the most important stats for the Golf Club of Houston, based on data from last years Shell Houston Open, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2016. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four catagories.
The scoring average of the field at G.C. of Houston in 2015 was 70.86, so with par being 72 that means the average score was one and a quarter of a shot under par, making G.C. of Houston the 40th hardest course to score on in 2015 (only 11 courses played easier). It’s also important to see how the weather played a factor, last year’s weather was near perfect but the winds did blow all four days between 10 and 20 mph. So with good weather, even with the wind the course played a full shot and a half easier. So with the weather being great for the week and it won’t be as windy, look for the course to play even easier.

In looking at the stats for Golf Club of Houston, one thing is obvious, the course is for bombers and those that hit it longer has a big advantage since accuracy doesn’t really come into play. We pick Proximity to the hole, because the greens are easy (46th hardest last year) to hit, it’s important to getting it close to the pin from the fairway. Next is scrambling, if you miss the green you have to get it up and down. Last is par breakers, because you have to make a lot of birdies and eagles to do well.

So how did last years winner J.B. Holmes become victorious last year? He led in driving distance, averaging 296.6 on every driving hole at G.C. of Houston. Holmes was T-10th in greens hit, but proximity to hole he was 37th. In scrambling he was T-36th and in Par Breakers he was T-2nd as he was T-4th in birdies and T-1st in eagles.

*Driving Distance: Stat is good barometer on how far the players are hitting it.

*Proximity to Hole: Average length that a player hits from the pin with shots from the fairway.

*Scrambling: So which course is tough to get it up and down on holes players miss the greens. Since all of the area’s around the greens are mowed short, making it a lot like Augusta National it should be easier for players to getting it up and down.

*ParBreakers: The course allows a lot of birdies and eagles to be made, so parbreakers is important for the players.

Players from this year’s field with stats from 2016:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

For the rest of the players, hit this link:

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Shell Houston Open:

Key stat for the winner:

  • This is a bombers type of course, length really helps getting it down the fairways.  But that is the most important aspect of playing well.
  • The important stat is hitting lots of greens, last year J.B. Holmes was ranked T-10th in greens hit.  In 2014 Matt Jones was 2nd while in 2013 D.A. Points was T10th. In 2012 Hunter Mahan was tied for the lead in hitting greens, one of two champions since 2004 that led this stat. Between 2009 and 2011 that stat was in play with 2009 winner Paul Casey ranking 22nd, 2010 winner Anthony Kim ranking T53rd and 2011 winner Phil Mickelson ranking T12th. But of the previous nine winners on two other courses they ranked tenth or lower in greens hit.
  • The 2006 winner, Stuart Appleby, hit 56 of the 72 greens and that was 2nd best in the field.  In 2007, Adam Scott won while hitting 57 of 72 greens which ranked T8.  Runner-up Stuart Appleby was 4th in that stat and Bubba Watson was 12th.  Fourth-place finisher Tommy Armour III led the stat.   2008 winner Johnson Wagner hit 56 of 72 greens and ranked T4th while the leader in greens hit Billy Mayfair finished T4th.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • Unimportant stat: Hitting lots of fairways is not that important at Golf Club at Houston.  Last year’s winner J.B. Holmes was ranked 71st (dead last).  In 2014 Matt Jones was T25th while 2013 champion D.A. Points was T33rd. The year before Hunter Mahan was T33rd while Mickelson was T71st, 2010 champion Anthony Kim was 80th, 2009 winner Paul Casey ranked T36th while 2008 champion Johnson Wagner was T41st in hitting fairways.  The trend is not hitting it straight anymore on the PGA Tour it’s hitting it long, going a chasing it and hitting the next one on the green and making the birdie putt.
  • Interesting to note that since the Golf Club of Houston was first used in 2006, results show that the course is in the top 25% in length of drives while in driving accuracy it’s in the middle of all the other courses used on the PGA Tour.  What this means is that longer hitters that don’t hit fairways have a slight advantage over straight, short hitters.  That is why the list of champions at Golf Club of Houston included long hitters as J.B. Holmes, Adam Scott, Paul Casey, Anthony Kim and Phil Mickelson.
  • Playing well on the par 4s. Last year J.B. Holmes was 12 under while in 2014 Matt Jones was 4 under on them while D.A. Points in 2013 was 10 under. In 2012 Hunter Mahan was 11 under, Phil Mickelson was 3 under in 2011, Anthony Kim was 4 under in 2010, Paul Casey was 5 under in 2009, Johnson Wagner was 4 under in 2008, Adam Scott was 7 under on the par 4s in 2007 while Appleby was 13 under on them in 2006.  It’s a rare feat when players score lower on the par 4s than the par 5s.
  • In most events you make up shots on par 5s.  But at Golf Club of Houston the par 5s are very demanding, players can’t overpower the par 5s because the shortest is 557 yards.  On the back nine, the two 5s are 590 and 608 yards, so getting it home in two is near impossible on two of the four par 5s. Last year the course ranked to have the 24th hardest on tour while in 2014 it was the 10th hardest par 5s on tour.  On the other end of the spectrum the par 4s are less demanding than other course on the PGA Tour since four of the par 4s are under 400 yards, ranking T41 hardest on tour in 2015 and T-17th in 2014.
  • Since the Houston tournament started in 1946, 16 players have scored their first PGA Tour victories here including 2008 champion Johnson Wagner, 2009 winner Paul Casey and last year’s winner Matt Jones.  In the 1990s, this was the hot spot for those achieving their first wins; between 1990 and 1994 all the winners were first timers.
  • Golf Club of Houston is deemed a great spot for getting ready for the Masters as Shell Houston officials have gone out of their way to set up the course in the same manner as Augusta Nationals, with light fairway rough, fast, treacherous greens and low cut fridges which will help people get ready for the Masters.  In looking at this years field, 36 that are playing in Houston will also play at the Masters.
  • Since 2006 five of the ten champions led going into the final round.  Last year we had a change of pace as J.B. Holmes started the final round six back of third round leader Jordan Spieth, Holmes shot a final round 64 to catch Spieth and then beat him in a playoff
  • Overtime is still the norm for Houston with a playoff last year.  Since the event was first played there have been 23 playoffs, including 13 in the last 29 years.
  • In looking at the long range weather forecast weather is going to change drastically.  Rain and thunderstorms will hit the course on Tuesday, Wednesday and some of Thursday before the last three days are played while Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be partly cloudy with hardly any chance of rain.  Winds will also not be bad, at most not more than 12 mph.  Temperatures will drop, it will be in the high 80s on Thursday going to 80 on Friday and around 75 on Saturday and Sunday.

Who to watch for at the Shell Houston Open

Best Bets:

Jordan Spieth

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T2 CUT T50

Played well enough to win last year, was blocked because of Holmes final round 64. He should do very well, don’t know if he will win but he wants to leave Houston with a pocketful of confidence like he did last year.

Phil Mickelson

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T17 T12 T16 T4 Win T35 CUT T23

Think he is close to breaking out and winning again, could be this week. Hitting the ball well, this course favors his type of game.

Louis Oosthuizen

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
CUT CUT T10 3 T16 CUT

He will be on anyone’s short list of guys that will do well this week and at the Masters.

Best of the rest:

Patrick Reed

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T17 CUT

Showed us at the match play that he could be on the verge of breaking out, watch him.

Henrik Stenson

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T54 T2 T21 T3

Another ready or should we say overdue to win. Has shown that he can play the course well after finishing runner-up in 2013.

Dustin Johnson

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
WD T4 CUT CUT

His game seems to get better on each start, I think he is close to getting his game together.

Rickie Fowler

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
71 6 T63 T65

Did finish 6th in Houston in 2014 so he can play the course well, again his game has been off and on again, just have to wonder will his mind be on Houston or Augusta.

Graham Delaet

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T42 T19 T31 CUT T3

He is getting better each week and could bust out at any time.

Solid contenders

Cameron Tringale

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T5 4 T16 T8 T73

Forget what he has done on the PGA Tour of late, this kid loves this course and has only been over par once in the last 16 rounds played on the course.

Retief Goosen

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T7 CUT T60

Was T-7th last year and has shown some consistence this year.

Sergio Garcia

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T37 3 T77

He will probably make a run but drop back, that seems to be what Garcia is doing these days.

Padraig Harrington

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T67 CUT T71 T8 T40 T26 T26 T24 T32

Purley a sentimental pick since he needs a win or miss his first Masters in 16 years.

Tony Finau

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T42

He busted out with a big win in Puerto Rico, could have some of the same firepower this week.

Long shots that could come through:

Scott Brown

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T37 CUT

Played well in Puerto Rico, has showed some signs that his game is getting better.

Scott Piercy

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
10 T21 T42 72 T42

Played ok in the match play, his game is showing an uptick over the last couple of weeks.

Steve Marino

2016 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04
T66 T14 T19 T66 T69

Came close last week, could have some of the magic left over for this week.

Comments

  1. Who are the players in the two spots behind Delaet or just a typo?

  2. Mark,
    A flaw in the program, if I have a line return when I hit the button to render the piece it thinks that it’s suppose to have a player and doesn’t.
    Have fixed, thanks

  3. Brian D K says:

    Where are the picks? I thought you gave us the Draft Kings picks?

  4. We have been doing a tournament blog, but we are putting things together for a really big Masters blog that will come out probably on Friday. But if you want, here are some draftkings picks that my partner David Barrett sent me for this week:
    A couple of factors pointed me to a high-salary/low-salary lineup this week. First, with many top players taking the week off to prepare for the Masters, I like the chances of the elite players who did show up. Second, very few players jump out at me as tempting picks in the $6,200 to $9,200 range, and there seem to be more players in the $5,000s worthy of consideration than usual. In fact, many of the players in the $5,000s seem like just as good picks as those in the mid-$6,000s.
    Still, my picks are a bit of a crapshoot, because there are about 20 guys I considered in the $5,000s, and it’s a tough call which are the best ones. On the high end, I like Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, and Dustin Johnson, and had to pick two of them plus a $9,000 range guy. I went with Spieth and Stenson as my “A team,” along with Brooks Koepka, but am entering another lineup with Fowler, Johnson, and J.B. Holmes. By the way, there are a few in the $7,000s who I liked well enough to put in a “C” team: Brendan Steele ($7,400), Gary Woodland ($7,300), and Scott Brown (though his $7,900 tag is no bargain). On the low-salary side, my other choices are Brian Harman ($6,100), Roberto Castro ($5,700), Greg Owen ($5,300), and Jim Herman ($5,300). Here’s my main team:
    Jordan Spieth, $12,900. Finished second here last year, working hard to get his game in shape to defend at the Masters.
    Henrik Stenson, $10,800. His excellent ball-striking serves him well at GC of Houston, where he has a T-2 and a T-3 in four appearances.
    Brooks Koepka, $9,300. He’s been solid in 2016.
    Padraig Harrington, $5,900. Not the player he once was, but he’s made seven of eight cuts this season.
    Jason Gore, $5,700. Enjoying a bit of a career Renaissance that started last fall and has lasted long enough to appear real. Has made nine of 10 cuts this season.
    Bronson Burgoon, $5,400. If I stayed with the best-at-cut-making-in-2016 theme, I could have gone with Colt Knost (11 of 12), Mark Hubbard (13 of 15), or Tyrone Van Aswegen (12 of 15). But they are not quite as established as Harrington or Gore and I’m afraid of regression to the mean. So, I’m going with a promising rookie who has made a respectable eight of 13 cuts with four top-25s.

  5. One last thing, David did a good job with these picks but one guy he is missing, Cameron Tringale. A lot of others also say Keegan Bradley, but I don’t think he is in the right frame of mind now, but Tringale should be used.

  6. Brian D K says:

    Thank you Sal

  7. Brian D K says:

    Looks like Burgoon withdrew?

  8. UGH, have updated the performance chart, Brian Gay also withdrew. Hard to find a $5,400 replacement, most off those on the list are dogs and not playing very well so have to find someone.

  9. David Barrett says:

    I’m going with Greg Owen as a replacement for Burgoon. Very similar 2016 record: 8 of 13 cuts made, one top-10, two top-25s.

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