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 through a win.
This course is a decent test measuring just short of 7,500 yards 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 a short iron 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.
The Texas native comes here in great form this season. He started 2017 off with a T3 at the SBS Tournament of Champions and followed that with a T9 in Phoenix, a win in Pebble Beach, T22 at The Genesis Open in Riviera and a T12 at the WGC Mexico Championship. Spieth played well last week at the matchplay playing Japan’s Hideto Tanihara in the first round and was beaten 4&2. He bounced back in the second match beating Yuta Ikeda 4&2 and then halved his third match with fellow American Ryan Moore but that wasn’t enough to get into the last 16.
He has a good record here over the last couple of years finishing T13 last year and nearly won in 2015, but narrowly lost in a playoff to J.B Holmes. Spieth ticks a lot of boxes here ranking first in GIR, second in SG approaches to the green, ninth in SGTTG and ranks in the top 3 in par 3, par 4 and par 5 scoring. After getting knocked out early last week he should be fresh and could have a big chance here.
Its hard to know which Rickie Fowler will turn up here in Houston this week but I’m willing to take the risk. Fowler is playing decent golf lately and got the psychological relief of a win in Florida a couple of weeks ago at the Honda Classic which takes the pressure off somewhat. He has played well so far this year with a T3 at the Hero World Challenge, T4 in Phoenix, T16 at the WGC Mexico and a solo 12th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill.
Fowler has a played well here in the past finishing sixth in 2014 and 10th last year. He ranks 25th in driving distance, 32nd in GIR, 12th in SG approaches to the green, 11th in SGTTG and 11th in SGP. If he hits it well off the tee and makes a few putts Fowler could be another one to keep an eye on.
Henley looks a real horse for the course around here and looks to be playing some good golf lately. He had a good week at the RSM Classic before Christmas finishing T10 and didn’t shoot worse than a 70 throughout the week. He followed that with a T13 at The Sony, T16 in Phoenix and an impressive T9 at the Valspar, which included an opening round 64.
He has played very well here over the last few years finishing seventh in 2014, fourth in 2015 and fifth last year and has a stroke average of just under 70 for his last 13 rounds here. He ranks 29th in driving distance, 19th in SGP and 20th in GIR.
Billy needs a big week here if he’s going to tee it up in Augusta next Thursday. He had a bit of a mixed start to the season but he seems to be back showing some form over recently. Billy had a good week in Phoenix finishing a respectable T24 after shooting 65,69 over the weekend and followed that with another decent performance shooting 70,68,67,68 to finish T4 at The Honda Classic. Most recently, Horchel teed it up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational finishing in a respectable T13 for the week.
He came close to victory here back in 2013 when he finished T2 after coming up one stroke short to the winner D.A Points. Statswise he ranks fourth in GIR, 35th in SGTTG, 34th in SG approaches to the green and 26th in par 4 scoring. Pressure could be a big motivator for Horchel here so he could be worth chancing.
Final selections –
Jordan Spieth 13/2 1pt EW
Rickie Fowler 16/1 0.5pts EW
Russell Henley 33/1 0.5pts EW
Billy Horchel 45/1 0.5pts EW
Total Staked = 5 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,