The Shell Houston Open is the last PGA Tour tournament before the US Masters and, whilst many of the world’s elite skip it to prepare for the first major of the season, many others prefer to get some tournament practice under their belts.
Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickleson and Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia are just a handful of star names that are in the line-up – however it’s debatable whether any of them will want to sap their mental strength by getting into serious contention this week.
If that’s the case, this may well present a great opportunity from someone lower down the pecking order – whilst several of the journeymen golfers will also fancy picking up a decent cheque this week.
The big hitter has been hanging around the top of the leaderboard a lot recently with consecutive finishes of 7/6/11. He’s also hit the top-10 once here in three attempts and is growing in confidence.
Shawn Stefani 1 point each-way @ 50/1 (Various)
Another big-hitter threatening a big finish after showing consistent recent form of 17/21/26 in his last three events. He also finished in 5th place in last year’s event and has every chance of repeating the feat.
Carlos Ortiz 0.5 points each-way @ 100/1 (Bet365)
After three wins on last year’s Nationwide Tour, the youngster has stepped-up his game with some good finishes including finishing 21st and 15th in his last two events, and he’s one of those players who looks like he’ll be trading at much shorter odds once he hits a big-finish – which will hopefully be this week.
Charles Howell Top-20 @ 4/1 (BetVictor)
One of those players that really should have achieved more in his career, but that hasn’t stopped him making a hell of a living regularly posting decent finishes. A 10th and a 21st placed finishes in his last three events bode well for a player who has posted two top-20s here in the last three years.
Brian Davies Top-20 @ 13/2 (888 or Unibet)
The Englishman is still without a PGA Tour victory but a 10th placed finish three events ago should give him confidence around a course he has twice finished in the top-6 in the last three years.
Martin Flores Top-20 @ 8/1 (Various)
His missed cut last week didn’t tell the full story as, like many, he couldn’t cope with the round one wind, but he showed spirit with a 2-under par score in round two. 17th last year, he has also posted two top-20s in his last four events.
A frustrating week with Charlie Hoffman looking good after 36 holes after playing brilliantly in the tough conditions to take the lead by three shots – only to capitulate on Saturday before rallying on Sunday to finish a frustrating 11th.