29th March Ace's Tips Houston Open

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    Profile photo of aceventurer aceventurer 

    Suddenly some of the top players in the world are beginning to show top form coming into The Masters. Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy have all won in the last few weeks. On Sunday Bubba Watson was in sparkling form when he won the Dell Matchplay in Austin. Also showing good form was Justin Thomas, Alex Noren and Kevin Kisner, who all reached the semi-final stage with Kisner losing in the final to Watson.
    There is still a final place up for grabs this week in Texas at the Golf Club of Houston, where for the fourth time in five years the last berth for the Masters is up for grabs. So with that final coveted place up for grabs there is a good field, which also includes guys just wanting to hone their game for Augusta, including Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenton and Matt Kuchar.

    Golf Club of Houston: 7441 yards, par 72

    The course runs through wooded countryside in Houston’s northeast suburbs. Designer Rees Jones and consultatn David Thoms took care in preserving the lakes and wetlands through the course. It is well known to be set up to imitate the Augusta course, with shaved banks, collection areas and greens that run around 13 or more on the stimpmeter, so a good course to play before The Masters.

    With three top ten finishes so far this year 33-year-old Luke List has been showing some good form. It is a surprise that he hasn’t yet got his first PGATour win under his belt. He played some good golf to finish second in the Honda Classic last month when he pushed Justin Thomas all the way to a play-off. He then followed that up with a T16 at the Valspar then a T7 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. A sinus problem and broken putter hampered him last week in Austin. This is a course that will suit the Californian and with the top guys maybe concentrating on honing their skills for next week, sinus problems sorted and a new putter this could be his chance to get that elusive first win.

    GIR: 67.38 (64th) Par 4 Scoring Average: 4.01 (41st)

    Rafa Cabrera Bello is making his third consecutive appearance in Houston with mixed results. Last year he missed the cut but finished fourth the previous year. He has been a steady player on the PGATour over the past two years with four top tens in 2017 and three in 2016. So far this season he has three with a T3 at the WGC-Mexican Championship and a T5 at the WGC-HSBC. The Spaniard has the game to win on the PGATour and although he doesn’t hit a particularly long ball he has the accuracy, which can help him here.
    GIR: 71.83% (6th) Par 4 Scoring Average: 3.99 (25th)

    Matt Kuchar may not have won a PGA Tour event since the RBC Heritage in 2014, but he has had 14 top fives, including a T4 at the Masters last year. This year he has a T5 at the WM Phoenix Open and T9 last weekend in Austin. Lost in a play-off here four years ago to Matt Jones and has a very up an down relationship with Houston, but The Kooch will be doing his own thing and getting in the groove for next week. Think he’ll be there or there about.
    GIR: 68.86% (49th) Par 4 Scoring Average: 4.00 (36th)

    1.50 ew Luke List (Paddy Power 28-1 Pays 7)
    1.50 ew Rafa Cabrera Bello (Betfair 35-1 Pays 7)
    1.50 ew Matt Kuchar (Coral 33-1 Pays 7)

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