This week we preview the Shell Houston Open with a packed field heading to Humble, Texas as it plays host to the final PGA Tour event before the Masters.
With just one week to go until the world’s best golfers head to Augusta National, a field that includes 15 of the top 30 in the world tees off this week at the Shell Houston Open.
The current course, at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, has hosted the event since 2003. Measuring 7,441 yards, the par 72 has allowed the likes of previous winners Johnson Wagner and Matt Jones to gain a last-minute berth into the Masters.
There has been only one European champion in the entire history of the event (Paul Casey in 2009). No European Tour event this week means that the likes of Anirban Lahiri, Joost Luiten and Danny Willett make their first appearance here.
J.B. Holmes (40/1 Ladbrokes)
The big hitting Bluegrass Stater has been sorely unlucky not to have won this season. Having finished second twice in his last five events, Holmes will be hoping to go one better at a course where he has had both a top ten and runner-up finish previously.
Ninth in putting average and third in driving distance this season suggest that the Ryder Cup alumni is more than capable of doing so.
Matt Jones (45/1 PaddyPower)
Matt Every’s recent title defence at Bay Hill shows that a relatively unfancied player is more than capable of contending two years running. Also, whereas Every had no form to speak of, his namesake Jones is in far better shape heading into this week. The Australian is third in Overall Putting Average, and finished third at the same event Every won.
The possibility of Jones winning the Shell Houston Open and booking his flight to Augusta for the second year running can’t be discounted on this evidence.
Cameron Tringale (80/1 Sportingbet)
Along with a win at the Franklin Templeton Shootout in December, the Californian hasn’t missed a cut since January.
His two top 10’s in his last three visits to Houston suggest that Tringale will contend this week – in spite of his recent uninspiring form.
Shawn Stefani (70/1 bet365)
A local from Baytown, Texas who spoke fondly of his experience finishing fifth last year. Currently in the top 20 of the FedEx Cup standings, Stefani has two top sixes this season (including a runner-up finish at the OHL Classic), only missing two cuts.
Perhaps the home support this week can inspire Stefani to deliver on his undoubted talent – boasting the most birdies on Tour thus far.
Brian Davis (160/1 bet365)
A real longshot here, but the Englishman has three top 10’s at the Shell Houston Open, including an impressive two in the last three years. A top-ten finish at the recent Valspar Championship will give him much needed confidence heading into April.
While Davis’ current form leaves a lot to be desired, he remains fourth in Putts Per Round this season.