THERE'S just one week to go before The Masters and time for some players to hone their game.
Water is in play for some of the holes at the Golf Course of Houston but the fairways are wide and with little rough. Greens will be fast and GIR, scrambling and putting could be what is important here.
Taking that into consideration Rickie Fowler looks a good selection. Although he’s gone off the boil recently and had a poor Match Play performance he has the stats, 5th in GIR with 72.86%, 12th in scrambling (12th) and 9th in strokes gained: putting (.659). He has also finished sixth here in 2014 so hopefully can pull it off this week.
Another one with good stats for here is Phil Mickelson. Big Phil won the event in 2011 and hasn’t finished worse than T17th since. He has had three top-fives this year and was going along nicely till the wheels came off against Patrick Reed in the Dell last week.
In GIR his stats are 66.92% (97th), with scrambling at 68.70% (4th) and strokes gained:putting 0.608 (14th). Certainly has the game for this course and should be there at the finish.
I like the way Charl Schwartzel is playing these days. He had a couple of months off around December and January and seems to have come back stronger. Strokes gained:putting 0.277 (66th), scrambling 64.81 (27th), GIR 70% (34th).
Already twice a winner in 2016 and three top 20s and I expect a lot more for the rest of the season.
Defending champion JB Holmes has a great record at the GCH with a P2, T8, T12 and of course his win last year. He hasn’t had the greatest of seasons and his GIR stat stands at 66.67%, scrambling around 61.11% but strokes gained:putting is only .038. Conversely his putts per round stands at 28.71 and with his record here and that some bookies are paying first seven he must be worth a small wager.
Houston Open Tips