The PGA Tour stays in Texas this week with a 137-man field heading to the Golf Club of Houston, many of whom will be looking for a win in order to qualify for the year’s first major next week, the Masters!
This event doesn’t tend to draw the strongest field of the year, and 2018 appears to be no different, as many of the top players have decided to give the event a pass as they prepare for Augusta National next week.
Saying that, not everyone has decided to skip it and our betting is headed by the likes of heavyweights Rose, Spieth, Mickelson, Fowler and Stenson.
The organisers at the Houston event tend to try to coax golfers into playing this week by setting up the course as similar to Augusta as possible.
As such, the course tends to have the following features:
- Quite generous off the tee with low rough
- Shaved run off areas – to test short games
- Very quick greens
Although they won’t be taking their eye off the ball this week altogether, we feel that golfers at the top end of the market may be looking more towards peaking next week for obvious reasons!
Therefore, we’re quite happy to look elsewhere for value before we switch our attention to the race for the green jacket.
Matt Kuchar – 28/1
The Georgia native is coming off a last 16 knock-out at last week’s WGC Match Play, where he played quite well to qualify from a decent group containing Ross Fisher, Yuta Ikeda and Zach Johnson. He has three top 10 finishes in six starts at this event, which includes a second-place finish in 2014. Keep him in mind for next week as well as he has a strong Augusta record to boot (four Top 10’s in the last six years).
Byeong-Hun An – 33/1
The 26-year-old Korean is someone we have identified as a player who should go well in Houston. He falls into the category of “players who have to win to qualify to Augusta”. He has been trending in the right direction this year as well, with good finishes in the Honda Classic, the Dubai Desert Classic and a top 20 on his last outing at the AP Invitational. He’s won Europe’s flagship event the BMW PGA in 2015, so he shouldn’t be shy in converting once he gets in the mix over in the US.
Nap Of The Week: Rory Sabbatini Top 20 – 9/2
Although he finished in the middle of the pack last week, with a 43rd place in the Dominican Republic. Sabbatini hit the ball really well, ranking sixth in greens in regulation. He’s also been in good form recently finishing fifth at the Valspar Championship and was also in the Top 20 at the Honda Classic.
* All odds correct at time of posting.