The Shell Houston Open is played at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas. This course tries its best to emulate Augusta National with the “The Masters” being next week. This makes it very enticing for good golfers to enter this tournament knowing the similarities, but at the same time it becomes an event where golfers try to work the kinks out before the biggest tournament of the year. Although the field is solid, it becomes difficult to predict whether the individual is here to win, or if they are here to try and get their game ready for next week. For this reason I may be avoiding a match up of big named golfers that would normally be considered value, but due to the circumstances it is not worth the bet.
Note: This tournament guarantees entry to The Masters with a win, so do not count out those who are in good form who need a victory to get to Augusta. In fact, it presents some good value to take a few of these golfers to win or finish in the top 5 for the tournament if the number is good.
Here are a few matchups that I am on (2016 Houston Open Picks):
Patrick Rodgers -110 vs. Matt Jones
Rodgers finally seems to have his game back on track for this season. He hits the ball a mile, and this course really favors golfers who can hit the ball far. Rodgers also needs a win to get into The Masters, so we know that he will not be holding anything back. Matt Jones has not been playing good golf of late. This course may be where he is looking to bounce back considering he has won this tournament before, but I do not see him being in the right form to repeat what he was able to do back in 2014.
Freddie Jacobsen +105 vs. KJ Choi
Jacobsen is playing solid right now and I expect this to continue. He not only makes a lot of cuts, he finishes high on leaderboards as well. Jacobsen also has a good course history at the Shell Houston. Choi played this course last year for the first time in six years and finished 50th. Choi is a very consistent golfer who is certainly capable of making cuts, but I do not think this course suits his game enough for him to contend.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello -115 vs. Keegan Bradley
Cabrera-Bello is coming off a very eye opening performance at the Dell Match Play this past weekend. He has always had this ability, but not very many people in the United States knew about him. He hits the ball a long way which will really help him in Houston. He is also coming into this event with a ton of confidence as he took down many big time golfers in match play including Rory. Bradley has a really good course history in Houston and is playing better golf. I am still not convinced that he has his putting quite figured out just yet, and Cabrera Bello is playing better golf and is a much better putter than Bradley.
Jhonattan Vegas -120 vs. Johnson Wagner
Vegas hits the ball a long way which will favor him a lot here in Houston. He is also coming into this event in good form. He has some course history here in Houston making 3 of 4 cuts in this event. Wagner has not played well at all this season. He has not made a cut since November 2015. (6 missed cuts in a row) He did finish 2nd last year at the Shell Houston, but he was in really good form heading into the event last year. This year…..not even close.
Henrik Stenson -120 over Dustin Johnson for 1 unit
Here are some futures that are worth throwing some pennies on:
Gary Woodland 100-1
Patton Kizzire 85-1
Kevin Chappell 75-1
Cameron Tringale 85-1
Patrick Rodgers 100-1
Let’s get some momentum heading into The Masters! Good luck everyone.