The final PGA event before the long awaited Masters takes place this weekend. The Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf course will be the last chance for 36 of these entrees to brush up before the last major of the year at Augusta.
We will see the return of Dustin Johnson who has been absent from the tour for the past few events after testing positive.
It’s good to see DJ back just in time for the Masters and he starts this tournament as a very popular favourite at 15/2 bet365.
This newly designed course with the help of Brooks Koepka, shouldn’t be too hard to tame with its wide fairways, large Bermuda greens and five par fives so I’d expect a low scoring affair with plenty of birdie opportunities.
Over the past five years this event has seen outsiders triumph and since 2015, you won’t see anyone under 37/1 with a victory; Ian Poulter at a very tidy 150/1 in 2018 and an even more impressive Jim Herman at a massive 800/1 in 2016. With this in mind it may be advisable to keep with the trend and again look for value.
For my first selection I’m going to suggest last years winner Lanto Griffin 50/1 at Betfair.
The American seems to enjoy playing in Houston, he also comes into this event with some impressive form; 7th at the CJ Cup followed by 11th at The Zozo Championship where he played in the final 3 ball with Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas – shooting a respectable 72 amidst such pressure.
If Griffin can match up his driving accuracy and iron play to his impressive putting stats then he could again be a contender and defend his title in style.
My next pick is Wyndham Clark who I feel is slightly overpriced at 75/1 with bet365, especially as he was so unlucky not to win the Bermuda Championship last weekend.
He also finished in the top 15 in his previous tournament at Shriners and seems to be on the mend after a few missed cuts.
Last week he hit 17 greens in regulation on the final round and if it wasn’t for a bogey at the 16th and a totally spectacular birdie from eventual winner Brian Gay on the last then this could well have been his maiden PGA success.
Si Woo Kim
My next selection is the ever impressive Si Woo Kim. The South Korean enjoys these Bermuda greens and he seems to strike the ball with such ease.
Two of his victories have come on Bermuda greens, Sedgefield and Sawgrass. He is definitely producing some decent form lately; T3rd at Wyndham, T8th at Shiners and T17th at The CJ Cup. If Kim can brush up on his putting figures then his long game and excellent short game should stand him in good stead-to win his 4th event on the Tour whilst being so unlucky on so many other occasions.
Brooks Koepka v Tony Finau
My final selection is a 72 hole match bet between Brooks Koepka 11/10 NAP Betfair v Tony Finau. Koepka helped redesign this course so surely this must give him the edge over Finau.