7,441 yards, par 72
Welcome to my Houston Open Betting Preview 2018 its good to be back. The Golf Club of Houston was designed by Reese Jones and was established in 2003. Since 2007, the tournament has traditionally been held the week before the Masters for the last few years giving the players one last chance to get into the field with a win.
The fairways are wide and forgiving with very little rough with water in play on roughly 9 of the 18 holes. The greens are set up similar to Augusta in preparation 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 players with good GIR 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.
After an early finish at the WGC Matchplay last week, Phil should be primed and ready to go for a competitive couple of weeks starting this week in Houston. Lefty has been playing some great golf this year with a win and three top 10’s in his last five starts.
He started the season off with an impressive T3 at the Safeway Open followed by a respectable T15 at the WGC HSBC Champions. His more recent form figures read 5,2,6,1,17 and started with a great week in Phoenix posting a T5 and followed that with a T2 in Pebble and an impressive T6 in Riviera at the Genesis Open.
The Five-time major winner then traveled to Mexico and defeated Justin Thomas in a play-off after an exciting final round 66 at the WGC-Mexico Championship to claim his first victory since the 2013 Open. Mickelson has a great record here in Houston with form figures 55,13,17,12,16,4 including a win in 2011 in his last seven appearances.
Statswise he is averaging just over 300 yards off the tee and ranks 19th in SGTTG, second in SGP and seventh in par 4 scoring. Mickelson is brimming with confidence since winning in Mexico and has to be a big contender here this week.
List was a bit unlucky to break his putter last week in the first round of the WGC Matchplay. He went toe to toe with the in form Justin Thomas in round one and despite breaking putter walking off the sixth, he still took Thomas to the 16th green where he eventually lost 2&1.
He said afterwards “I was walking off the 6th tee, and I was a little unhappy about the way I was feeling, a little under the weather, and I thought it was like a brush area and I just kind of swiped my putter, and it turned out to be a wall. It bent like a fraction of an inch. So unfortunately I couldn’t use it the rest of the way. Stupid on my part.” Granted, it was a bit silly but you have to give credit where its due, he still putted pretty well with a wedge for the guts of 11 holes.
His form has been solid over the last few weeks with form figures 26,2,16,7 in his last four starts. List had a respectable week in Torrey Pines finishing T26 and followed that with a solo second at the Honda, where he lost a playoff to Justin Thomas, a T16 a the Valspar and a T7 in Bay Hill. List has played here twice before finishing T3 last year which included three rounds of 68 or better and a T27 in 2016.
Statswise The American ranks third in driving distance averaging an impressive 316 off the tee and 11th in SGTTG. After being knocked out of the Matchplay early, that could work to his advantage here.
RCB has been steady as they come recently and arrives to Houston in good form. He was knocked out of the matchplay early last week so he has had plenty of time to get his game right here. His form figures over the last couple of months reads 40,6,26,26,29,3,36.
He started the year with a T6 in Dubai in late January and followed that with back to back T26’s in Riviera and Pebble beach and a T29 at the Honda. The Spaniard then traveled to the WGC Mexico Championship and shot four rounds of 69 or better, including an opening round 66 to finish T3 for the tournament.
He has played here twice before finishing solo fourth in 2016 which included a 68,65 over the weekend and an MC last year. Statswise he ticks the boxes here ranking sixth in GIR, 13TH in SGTTG, 45th in SGP and 25th in par 4 scoring. Rafa should be well rested after a weekend off last week and looks decent value to have another good week in Houston.
Final Selections –
Phil Mickelson 12/1 1pt EW
Luke List 25/1 1pt EW
Rafa Cabrera Bello 33/1 1pt EW
Total staked = 6pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf.
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