2019 Houston Open Preview

Final time at the Golf Club of Houston before moving downtown next year!

Should this be cause for concern???? Nah, he’ll find another!

Houston Open

Golf Club of Houston

Humble, Texas

Yards (per official scorecard): 7,411
Par: 72 (36-36)
Greens: MiniVerde Bermuda; 7,500 square feet on average.
Stimpmeter: 12.
Rough: Bermudagrass at two inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards  
Architects: Rees Jones (2005).
Purse: $1.35 million ($7.5 million total) plus 500 FedExCup points to winner.
Defending Champion (event): Ian Poulter (-19; 269).
Fact of the Week: First time ever the event has not been played around the Masters.
Fact of the Week II: Russell Henley is the only recent winner under 32.

Notes:

  • No more MDF.
  • Top 65 and ties play the weekend.

 

2019-2020 Season Winners

*- First-time winner

**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

Event Winner
   
A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier *- Joaquin Niemann
Sanderson Farms Championship *- Sebastian Munoz
Safeway Open Cameron Champ
Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Kevin Na

 The Confidence Factor is the weekly column I write for PGATOUR.COM. I’ve included the link here for you. Please read as I’m not going to write it all out here.

Event Winners:

Year Player Notes
2018 Ian Poulter, -19 Played in the final group and playoff with Beau Hossler.
2017 Russell Henley, -20 Tied the tournament scoring record as he holed 541 feet of putts.
2016 Jim Herman, -15 Held off Henrik Stenson (2nd) and Dustin Johnson (3rd) to win for the first time on TOUR.
2015 J.B. Holmes, -16 Closed with 64 on Sunday to force and win a playoff over Johnson Wagner and others.
2014 Matt Jones, -15 Aussie continued his hot play by knocking out Matt Kuchar in a playoff by holing a bunker shot.

 

Facts and Figures:

Tournament Record: 268 (-20); Henley and Phil Mickelson (2011).
Course Record: 63; multiple people but the only one in the field this week is Wagner.
Recent Defending Champion(s): None.
Multiple Winners (event or course): None.
First-time – TOUR: 2 of the last 5 (Jones, Herman).
First-time Event: None recently.
Low Round 2018: Poulter, 64, Round 2.
Odd Facts: This course was set up as Masters prep from 2008 until last year. GCH received 18 inches of rain from Imelda earlier this month.

Quick Thoughts

Familiarity will be unfamiliar, to a degree, this week as the normally overseeded conditions won’t be in play in September.

The field is nothing to brag about as only two of the top 50 in the OWGR are live this week.

With plenty of water in play (only TPC Southwind eats more balls) I’m leaning on guys who excel tee-to-green. Tiered greens also reward crisp iron play.

The list of winners here hasn’t been anything short of interesting and it wouldn’t surprise me again if another 30-something grinder lifted the trophy on Sunday.

Remember, no first timers. No repeats. No multiples. No winner in single digits.

Obviously

Henrik Stenson: The class of the field also rakes here so that’s a tasty combination. He’s retired his trusty 3-Wood so that’s great news for contrarians this week. His current record is not great news for said contrarians.

Daniel Berger: His other two tracks where he rakes are PGA National and TPC Southwind. I guess plenty of water and sand doesn’t bother him a bit.

Brian Harman: He’ll have no problem on the Miniverde greens and will enjoy the big targets to aim at.

Russell Henley: Easily the course horse this week but we haven’t seen anything nasty from him since a runner up at the JDC in July. The only thing that would surprise me this week if he doesn’t hit the top 10.

Digging for Gold

Scottie Scheffler: Texas native crunches is tee-to-green and that’s necessary this week. First time at the event will also help as he’ll have no memory of spring conditions.

Denny McCarthy: Led the field with 28 birdies last week in Las Vegas and is trending perfectly (T31, T18 and T9 last week).

Cameron Tringale: Fits the first-timer winner/veteran Jim Herman/Matt Jones angle. He’s been on a tear since last spring and the light field won’t hurt his chances.

Harris English: Opened T3-T6 before T33 in Wine Country.

Lanto Griffin: Results are results. I’d look his up.

Brian Gay: Played really well in Las Vegas, a track that usually bothers him. Painting fairways and excellent putting is a solid combo this week.

Xinjun Zhang: Again, he’s hot T7 and T16 in his last two.

Michael Thompson: Last two years he’s been T14 and T12.

Jhonattan Vegas: Top 20 finishes in his last two appearances.

Pat Perez: Broke out of a nasty slump at home last week for solo third. Hope he doesn’t spend all week drinking bourbon with Elk!

John Huh: T39 or better in five of seven.

Brendan Steele: Starting to find form and rakes tee-to-green.

Mark Hubbard: Quietly moving along with a T10 and T13 in his first four this season.

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

 

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