Golf Club of Houston, Humble, Texas
7,441 yards, par 72
The Golf Club of Houston was designed by Reese Jones and was established in 2003. Since 2007, the tournament has been held the week before the Masters, giving the players one last chance to get into the field with a win.
This course is a decent test measuring just short of 7,500 yards. It is set up to replicate Augusta for next week and has a particular emphasis on length. For example, the four par 5’s on this course all measure over 550 yards and will require a decent drive if players are going for the green in two. The par 4’s will also require length with the 5th, 6th, 17th and 18th all measuring over 460 yards. Players that average between 295 and 300+ yards off the tee will be leaving themselves between an eight iron and a wedge into some of the longer par 4’s.
The main stats to consider here is obviously length, along with good par 3, par 4, par 5 scoring stats. The greens here are also quite tricky (like Augusta) with tight banks and plenty of run off areas so be on the lookout for guys with good greens in regulation stats. The greens here will be pretty quick measuring roughly 13 on the stimp so strokes gained putting will be another stat to consider on this course.
Phil Mickelson 20/1
With the exception of a poor front nine against Patrick Reed in the matchplay, Phil played well all week. He comes into this with four top 11 finishes this season starting with a T3 at the CareerBuilder Challenge which included four steady rounds in the 60’s finishing 21 under in total. He followed that with a T11 in Phoenix, solo second in Pebble Beach and a solo fifth at The WGC Cadillac in Doral.
Phil has a great record here over the last few years finishing T17 last year, T12 in 2014, T16 in 2013, T4 in 2012 and a win in 2011. He also ticks the boxes statswise averaging just under 300 yards off the tee, sixth in SGTTG and 14th in SGP. He also ranks fourth in par 3 scoring, 12th in par 4 scoring and 11th in par 5 scoring. With good current form and a great record on this course Phil could be one to watch.
Patrick Reed 22/1
Reed played well last week in the matchplay and was unlucky not progress further after getting into the last 16 but got beaten by big hitting Dustin Johnson. He has shown some great form this season with three top 10’s in his last five starts. He had a great week in Pebble Beach finishing T6 and followed that with a T7 at the Valspar and a T9 last week at the matchplay.
Reed played well here last year finishing in a respectable T17 which would have been a lot better if it weren’t for a final round 73. He also ticks a lot of boxes here ranking 49th in SGTTG, sixth in scrambling and 20th in par 4 scoring.
Charl Schwartzel 28/1
The South African has been in fine form lately with two wins and a top 10 in his last six starts. He finished T9 in The Nedbank Challenge just before Christmas and followed that with a win in The Tshwane Open in his native South Africa shooting an impressive final round 63 to finish 16 under for the tournament. More recently Schwartzel finished in a respectable T17 at The WGC Cadillac and following that with a superb win at The Valspar.
Schwartzel is hitting it just under 300 yards off the tee and ranks 11th in SGTTG and 34th in GIR. He has played well here in the past finishing T19 in 2014 and third in 2010. With superb current form and good previous performances here Schwartzel could be a big contender this week.
Brooks Koepka 30/1
Brooks played well last week in The Matchplay winning his group but got knocked out by the eventual winner Jason Day to finish T5. He has been playing well over the last couple of months. He started the season off with a solo seventh at The Hero World Challenge and followed that with a T3 at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He hasn’t finished outside the top 30 in his last four events finishing T8 in Pebble Beach, T26 at The Honda, T23 at The WGC Cadillac and T5 last week.
Koepka looks like he could suit this course and is averaging 307 off the tee ranking ninth in driving distance and ninth in par 4 scoring. This course tends to suit the bombers and Koepka could follow up another great performance after playing well last week.
Phil Mickelson 25/1 – First Round Leader
Phil has a great record on this course and hasn’t shot worse than a 70 in five of his last six opening rounds at The Golf Club of Houston. He started with a 66 last year, 68 in 2014, 65 in 2012, 70 in 2011 and a 69 in 2010.
He hasn’t shot worse than a 69 in his last six opening rounds and looks to be playing really well lately. He started with a 68 at the CareerBuilder Challenge, 69 at The Farmers, 69 in Phoenix, 68 in Pebble, 69 at The Honda and a 67 at The WGC Cadillac. With an 08.10 tee time and rain forecast in the afternoon Phil looks like he could get the better part of the day.
Final Selections –
Phil Mickelson 20/1 1.5pts EW
Patrick Reed 22/1 1.5pts EW
Charl Schwartzel 28/1 1pt EW
Brooks Koepka 30/1 1pt EW
Phil Mickelson FRL 25/1 1pt EW
Total staked = 12 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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