Golf Rankings for Houston Open
The Shell Houston Open boasts a near-elite field as the lead in to the Masters. Yahoo! enters the Spring portion of their game which runs from this week through the U.S. Open in mid-June. Thank goodness for a single event this week as we have more than three choices in Group A.
Group A has five heavy hitters and then a mix of veterans and newly minted PGA Tour winner Tony Finau. In Group B offers a couple of my favorite options this week so I will probably be chalky here as well with one wild card option. Group C is chock full of international options, but I'm going to fade the bigger names in Group C to try to make up some ground in my pools.
The Shell Houston Open has been held at the Golf Club of Houston since 2006 on the Tournament Course. The Humble, Texas course sits just outside of Houston and measures 7,441 yards with a par 72 scorecard. If a golfer wins the SHO this week and hasn't yet qualified for the Masters, he's in! So, there are many golfers playing for that prize as well as the win.
The course is intended to mirror the Masters and the staff at the Golf Club of Houston ensure that is does. However, success at the SHO does not necessarily portend success at the Masters. Just two winners from the Shell Houston Open have finished in the top 15 at the Masters since 2006. Perhaps the difference in greens (bermudagrass here; bent grass at August) leads to that difference.
Let's get to the stats to focus on this week.
Driving Distance (DD): Length off the tee has been useful in the past especially where the rough is less than punitive.
Par 5 Scoring (P5SA): In general on par-72 courses, par 5 scoring becomes important if only because there are more of them. In this instance, some of the tougher holes (especially 18) are par 4s and the par 5s offer a chance to recover from issues on par 4s.
Greens in Regulation (GIR): As we look back over years of data, we see that getting onto the green with a chance to score correlates highly with success at this course.
Par 4 Scoring (P4SA): We'll use par 4 scoring as the tiebreaker as our review of the data shows the winner can take advantage of the scoring opportunities on the tougher par 4s.
I'm focused on 2016 stats now and I'll use 2015 stats as a reference point.
And of course, we examine Strokes Gained: Putting and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green each week.
Finally, a quick look at the weather. This weekend it looks like the weather will be calm which is odd for a tournament held in Texas. There's a slight chance of rain on Thursday, but nothing after that. The wind also looks to be manageable with sustained winds no higher than 10-12 mph during the week.
Henrik Stenson - World Ranking: #7
Phil Mickelson - World Ranking: #24
Patrick Reed - World Ranking: #17
Brooks Koepka - World Ranking: #10
Sergio Garcia - World Ranking: #5
Rickie Fowler - World Ranking: #9
Jordan Spieth - World Ranking: #6
Dustin Johnson - World Ranking: #1
J.B. Holmes - World Ranking: #50
Charley Hoffman - World Ranking: #49
Charl Schwartzel - World Ranking: #19
Charles Howell III - World Ranking: #70
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