Tag Archives: Shell Houston Open

Shell Houston Golf Open Tips & Preview

By Michael McGill

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The Shell Houston Open is the last stop saloon for players wanting to make The Masters field for next week. The tournament is played at the Redstone Golf Club in Humble.

This event was established in 1946 and has been played in and around the Houston area at several venues. It made its home at Redstone in 2003 where it was played on the Members course until it moved across the road to the Tournament course in 2006, where it has been played ever since.

The inaugural event was won by Byron Nelson who defeated Ben Hogan by 2 shots. The winner received US$2,000. Other famous names to win have been Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Bob Charles, Raymond Floyd and Payne Stewart. And more recently by Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, Adam Scott and Paul Casey.

This week the event has a Purse of US$6.4 million with the winner taking home US$1,116,000.

The Course is a Par 72, measuring 7,457 yards with 60 sand bunkers and 13 water hazards. Over the last 7 years the course has played at an average of -16 so expect much the same this week.

Much like early events on the Tour this year look out for the Par 4, 488 yard 18th hole to cause a few problems for anyone that tries to go for glory. The whole left hand side of the hole runs along the side of a lake and players will try to carry that as much as possible. There is a lot of risk involved however the reward can be good. The second shot to the green is also a tricky one with water on the left side of the green and a bunker on the right.

With the Masters being played next week several big name players have stayed at home to practise, however many others like to use Redstone as a good lead in to the event to fine tune their game. This week we will get to watch players of the calibre of Louis Oosthuizen, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan, Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker and Luke Donald.

The bookies Top 5 in betting are: 9/1 Rory McIlroy, 14/1 Dustin Johnson, 16/1 Henrik Stenson, 25/1 Keegan Bradley and 25/1 Sergio Garcia.

Looking at past winners of this event we need to pay close attention to guys who hit a lot of greens. This stat stands out above the rest as one of the most important. We also need to look at good scramblers as they have always done well here. With four Par 5’s on the course look at players with good Par 5 records as well. Accuracy off the tee is not as important as Distance off the tee this week as a good scrambler can negate the rough.

Taking these stats into consideration we have two players who should fair very well this week at Redstone. 

Matt Kuchar 25/1

‘Kuch’ has been one of our favourite golfers for some time now. We tipped him twice last year and he won both events. The WGC Accenture at 35/1 and Memorial Tournament at 20/1. It is great to see him this week at 25/1 as his game is in the right place to excel  this week.

Matt has had a great start to 2014 with four Top 10’s from seven starts. T6th Hyundai Tournament of Champions, T8th Sony Open, T9th WGC Accenture Match Play and T4th Valero Texas Open last week.

This will be his fifth start at the Houston Open. In 2005 and 2007 he missed the Cut however he came back in 2010 and 2011 and finished 8th on both occasions. With excellent course form and current form it is brilliant to see Matt at 25/1 this week. That represents a confident each way selection.

His stats also hold up well being ranked 17th in scoring average, 47th in driving accuracy and 15th in scrambling. Lets sit back and watch Matt win his third tournament for us!

Charley Hoffman 66/1

The man with the worlds worst haircut is luckily a very good golfer! While he may need help finding a decent hairdresser he certainly knows his way around the golf course.

This year he has been putting together some great results. Seven starts has brought four Top 12 finishes. He is coming off a T11th at the Valero Texas Open and his stats of 16 in Driving Distance, 20th in Greens in Regulation, 18th in Birdie average, 27th in Scoring average and 18th in Ball Striking put him in a good position heading into the tournament.

This will be Charley’s eighth start here and he has not missed a cut yet. Four of those were Top 25 finishes.

Good luck and good punting.

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PGA Championship 2013 Preview

By Michael McGill ( @MickSportsNews )

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The last Major of the year is here already! Who is going to join Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson as a Major winner in 2013?

We head to Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, New York for the 95th PGA Championship which is being played on the East Course. It is a Par 70, 7163 yard course with bentgrass greens that will be running at 12 on the stimpmeter.

The East Course has narrow tree lined fairways with two Par 5’s and four Par 3’s with plenty of bunkers and water hazards coming into play. Phil Mickelson said during a practise round that the thick rough was some of the toughest he had seen at a Major.

This week will be about accuracy off the tee and keeping the ball in play. If you stick it in the rough expect to be under pressure trying to make Par. Players will need to have a good scrambling game if they hope to be successful at Oak Hill this week.

The Bookies Top 5 in betting this week are-  4/1 Tiger Woods- Justified as the favourite with five wins this season from eleven starts, 16/1 Phil Mickelson- Open Champion, 16/1 Adam Scott- Masters Champion, 24/1 Henrik Stenson-  2nd Open Championship  and 25/1 Justin Rose- US Open Champion.

So who fits the bill this week? I have the usual two players to follow and have included a long shot selection for those that like to trade on the exchanges.

Zach Johnson 45/1

When it comes to a player in form you can not go past Zach this week. His last three tournaments have been 2nd John Deere Classic (lost in a playoff), T6th The Open Championship and T4th WGC Bridgestone Classic.

This season he has been playing some fantastic golf. Johnson has made 15 cuts from 19 starts and posted 7 Top 25’s and 4 Top 10’s. In the three Majors this year he was T35th Masters, Missed Cut US Open and T6th Open Championship.

At last weeks WGC Bridgestone Invitational where he finished T4th he was ranked 1st in fairways hit, 12th in greens in regulation and 5th in strokes gained putting. If he can continue is current form and maintain the same standard of statistics then there is no reason why Zach can not win his second Major title.

Henrik Stenson 24/1

If there is a player who deserves to win a Major this year that person has to be Henrik. He is having one of his best seasons in years. Stenson started the season ranked 61st in the World and heading into this week he is now 11th.

From 20 starts this year he has made 18 cuts and produced 7 Top 10’s. Highlights have included T8th Arnold Palmer, T2nd Shell Houston Open and T5th Players Championship. Then you look at his Majors record this year. T18th Masters, T21st US Open and 2nd Open Championship.

If that is not enough to get you excited, have a look at his last four tournament results. T10th BMW International Open, T3rd Scottish Open, 2nd Open Championship and T2nd WGC Bridgestone Invitational. There are not many players who can boast those types of numbers.

His stats also hold up very well for this tournament. 6th in driving accuracy, 2nd in greens in regulation, 7th in scoring average, 2nd in ball striking and 1st in scrambling from the rough.

Expect to see him up near the top of the leader board heading into the weekend. From there he should be in the firing line to go one better than he did in The Open Championship.

LONG SHOT SELECTION- Matt Jones 200/1

Matt gets the honour of being the long shot selection this week. And the reasons are pretty simple. His last two tournaments have put him on the watch list. T2nd The Greenbrier Classic and T7th John Deere Classic. You can also add in a T6th Memorial Tournament at the start of July.

After starting the season as the World No.451 he has motored up the rankings to be No.141 as we head into this weeks event.

HIs stats also fair well for this course. 47th in driving accuracy, 50th in greens in regulation, 60th in strokes gained putting, 5th in total driving, 10th in all round ranking, 21st in ball striking, 3rd in scrambling and 6th in scrambling from the rough.

Those scrambling and driving stats should see him play well on a course that is sure to claim its fair share of victims.

Good Luck and Good Punting.