Once again we had a week where coming down the stretch we were in good shape and it slipped away on the final holes. 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. The only problem this season has been that he has been getting the best of our picks.
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. 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 in 2011. 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.
Four of the World’s Top 10 players will be participating in the Masters tune up this week (Rory McIlroy 2nd, Louis Oosthuizen 2nd, Steve Stricker 8th and Keegan Bradley 10th). There are a slew of players competing this week who are currently eligible to play in the Masters. As this is a tune up for some, look for certain players to have more on the line than others (not saying Steve Stricker 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 Hunter Mahan (2012) 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.
The Shell Houston Open Picks
Below is one of the 6 outright winner picks we have in the six pack system this week. The rest are for members only but you can sign up at www.GolfBanker.com.
JIMMY WALKER 50 TO 1 – One of the hottest players on Tour and yet another Texas resident is our next selection. Jimmy is enjoy a tremendous 2013 season to date, as he has made the cut in all 8 events, including seven Top 30’s. Jimmy hits the ball a long way, as he sits 20th on Tour for Driving Distance. He also hits over 69% of his fairways and makes the 7th most birdies on average. Jimmy will have to focus this week on his Par 3 performance. He currently ranks 2nd for Par 4 performance, 3rd for Par 5 performance, but only 129th in Par 3 performance. He has not enjoyed much success at this course but does own a share of the course record here. I look for him to continue to play well this week and post an excellent opening round score.