Once again we had a week where most of our players entered the final round near the lead but faltered on Sunday. Tiger picked up a big victory for both himself and the golf world as a whole. When Tiger is at his best it gives golf added exposure due to a drastic increase in media attention. For us it is a good thing because it inflates everyone else’s odds for tournaments he is in.
Tiger however is not competing in the into the Shell Houston Open taking place this week in Humble, Texas. The field is comprised of many players who flew over from Europe to prepare for the Masters next week. They will be joined by a long list of players just hoping to have the opportunity to participate in the Masters. To do so they will have to win this week in Texas.
Redstone Golf Club is a 7457 Yard Par 72 gem of a course. Scrambling is at a premium this week as Redstone finds a way of forcing players to work harder than they should have to. With 13 water hazards and 60 bunkers the course penalizes players who hit errant tee and approach shots. The greens are average sized with some large undulations and subtle breaks.
The Course record at Redstone is a 63, fired by Adam Scott and Johnson Wagner in 2008, along with Phil Mickelson and Jimmy Walker last year. Look for the players to take advantage of the Par 5’s this week as they have ranked as the easiest holes on the course over the years. The Par 4 18th however is a completely different story.
Par 4 18th – Has ranked as the most difficult hole on the course and for good reason. This finishing hole could decide the championship thanks to its lake bordering the left side of the hole. At 488 yards the players are forced to either take a gutsy line over the water or be left with an extremely long 2nd shot.
3 of the World’s Top 10 players will be participating in the Masters tune up this week (Lee Westwood (3rd), Steve Stricker (5th), and Charl Schwartzel (6th)). There are a slew of players competing this week who are currently eligible to play in next week’s Masters. As this is a tune up for some, look for certain players to have more on the line than others (not saying Lee Westwood doesn’t want to win this week but I can guarantee you he is thinking about how badly he wants to win his first major).
Past winners of the Shell Houston Open include Phil Mickelson (2011) Anthony Kim (2010) Johnson Wagner (2008) Stuart Appleby (1999, 2006) Fred Couple (2003) Robert Allenby (2000). I feel that Redstone is a track where players need to understand the holes they can take advantage of, and which ones they need to play for a Par on. Experience will be large this week but you also have to look at the golfer’s current form.
STEVE’S SIX PACK SYSTEM PICKS
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Below is a sneak peak pick of one my 6 Six Pack System picks for this week’s 2012 Shell Houston Open…
BUD CAULEY 45 to 1 – I have been waiting a while to make this selection and it is finally the week. Bud is a great young talent who is already posting very high finishes on Tour (ex. T4 last week). He is listed at only 5 foot 7, 150 pounds, but that small frame is packed with game. He currently ranks 10th on Tour in Par 5 Performance, 41st in scrambling, and 26th in total driving. These 3 statistics will be crucial this week. If Cauley continues to roll the flat stick like he has the past two weeks, he will once again be near the top of the leaderboard.