It was an eventful finish at the Shriners Open last week, as we saw Kevin Na and Patrick Cantlay go toe-to-toe for the championship. Na ended up beating Cantlay in a playoff, capturing his second title in his hometown, Las Vegas. It was truly a remarkable display of putting for Na last week. He gained an incredible 14.263 strokes putting on the field and set a record for the most feet worth of putts made.
The PGA Tour will now head to Humble, Texas for the annual Houston Open. This week features an exceptionally weak field, as there are no top-30 golfers participating. Henrik Stenson is the betting favorite at 10/1 odds, followed by Daniel Berger, Cameron Champ, and Brian Harman (all at 22/1). The event is usually played in late March as a warm-up for the Masters, but it has been moved to the swing season.
This event will be played at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas. The course measures 7,441 yards long and it is a par-72 track with Bermuda greens. Depending on the weather conditions, this course can either play relatively easy or very challenging for the golfers. Wind has proven to be a big factor in determining the scoring in the past. The course is in prime condition as the region has been hit with very dry weather of late.
When selecting my best bets week, I am going to heavily weigh course history. Golfers who have enjoyed continual success at this event over the years will get a bump. In a weak-field event with lots of unknowns, it is one way of shortening down the bet card. Strokes gained approach and strokes gained putting have correlated strongly with the winners of this event in the past. While putting is extremely difficult to predict, recent trends and performance on Bermuda greens will help.
- Course History
- Recent Form
- Strokes Gained Approach
- Strokes Gained Ball Striking
Best Bets to Win
Russell Henley (+3000 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
To say Henley enjoys playing here is a huge understatement. He has five consecutive top-10 finishes at the event and won here in 2017. Henley owns the best scoring average of 69.08 at the course and he does his best work on Bermuda greens.
The current form is also there for Henley. At the Shriners Open last week, he finished third in strokes gained approach. This sharp iron play should translate well this week in Houston and hopefully the switch to Bermuda greens is the thing he needs to take his game to the next level. He is one of the most accurate drivers off the tee and this should give him plenty of birdie looks this week.
Kyle Stanley (+3500 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Stanley has also enjoyed success in Houston. He placed eighth here in 2017 and 19th in 2016. He is a brilliant ball striker who finds plenty of fairways and hits the majority of greens. Coming off of a solid showing last week with two rounds of 66, the form is there. Being top 15 in both strokes gained approach and strokes gained tee-to-green at the Shriners, his momentum should carry over.
The problem Stanley usually has is with the putter. Going back to a familiar course where he has found success should help him this week. He has gained strokes putting the last two times playing this tournament, so perhaps he can catch fire and make a strong run at the championship.