Flash and Mel
Rees Jones designed the Tournament course at the Golf Club of Houston, formally known as Redstone Golf Club, where during construction artifacts belonging to the Atakapa Indians were found all around the grounds. That history has been incorporated into the design of Redstone's logo with a reflection of a green over water within an Indian Arrowhead outline.
The 7,457 yard par-72 layout has been carved out of woodlands lush with oak, pine and cypress trees. The course also has wetlands that are filled with native plants and flowers. Past Shell Houston Open champions at the Golf Club of Houston include Fred Couples, Vijay Singh, Stuart Appleby, Adam Scott, Johnson Wagner and Paul Casey.
My tips to win:
If Henrik Stenson 14/1 – with Bet365 – is finally over his tummy problems he could be the man to beat this week. Yes there are a lot of top players here this week that are also in great form, but only one player has bettered the swede over this track – see below. Henrik has two runners-up finishes in the last four years here and even though he missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and pulled out of the WGC Mexico Championship I think he will be right there come Sunday.
I must admit I was surprised that Rickie Fowler 16/1 – with PaddyPower – didn’t play at last weeks WGC Match Play, I really felt that with his new found mental strength that event would have been the perfect preparation for the Masters. But two Top 10s here in the last three years he probably thought this week would be better suited to his game and with not being outside the Top 16 from his last four starts – which includes a win and a Top 5 – I expect to see Rickie challenging come Sunday.
Phil Mickelson 22/1 ¬– with Coral – was in great form at last weeks WGC Match play and produced some wonderful shots around the green. Phil looks full of confidence at the moment and he certainly won’t be afraid of winning a week before the Masters. And with not being outside the Top 17 here since 2011 which includes a win and you can be sure lefty will be in one of the final pairings again come Sunday.
My each-way tips:
Another past champions at the Golf Club of Houston is JB Holmes 35/1 – with 32Red – who won the event two years ago, JB also has a runner-up and several Top 10 finishes here. JB has played some steady golf this year without really challenging, but being back here I feel we could see his best four rounds of golf so far this season.
Russell Henley 40/1 – with BetWay – has a stunning record over the Golf Club of Houston track, having played in the event four times and making the Top 10 in the last three years, in fact the Georgian has been in the Top 5 the last two years. Russell is another player that hasn’t been in great form so far this year, but a Top 10 at the Valspar Championship a few weeks ago when he opened with a round of 64, shows he is not too far from getting back to challenging in an event.
My outside tip:
This week’s outside tip is Keegan Bradley 70/1 – BetStars – who seems to enjoy teeing it up here in Houston with two Top 10s in his last four starts here. It has been a strange start to the year for the lad from Woodstock, just when you thought he was going to start challenging again after his Top 4 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open which followed two Top 10s at the beginning of the wraparound season he seems to have lost his way again. But coming back to a course he seems to enjoy these could turn out to be good odds for a quid each-way punt.
As always good luck