This week the players head out of Florida and over to Texas for the Shell Houston Open. Redstone GC will play host this week as it has since '03.
Although this event has been around since 1922 and became the Houston Open in 1924. This is now a fairly long 7457 yd par 72 where Hunter Mahan got the win last year with a score of -16/268. We have this event, then the Valero Texas Open next week before the Masters. For many this week will be a final tune up before heading to Augusta National. Americans have won 4 of the last 5 here and 13/13 this year on tour.
Driving distance, GIR, proximity, scrambling, par 4 & 5 performance as well as putting will be some of the key things to look at this week. Redstone is known to have some of the biggest greens on tour, players will want to manage the course well and get balls close to the pin. Although we can expect a score between 265-268, with 60 bunkers in play and water affecting 10 holes players will be kept honest. This course does set up similarly to Augusta and players will do their best to get ready to contend for the green jacket.
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A strong field of players will be on hand this week to tune up for the upcoming Masters. Rory McIlroy will return and look to get his season back on track. Snedeker will be around for his second event since a rib injury sidelined him after a stellar start to 2013. Other notables include Oosthuizen, Mickelson, Bradley, Westwood, Stricker, DJ and many others. Tiger will not be here this week, we likely won't see him until Augusta. The weather should be good up until the weekend with a slight chance of t/s and light rain. I don’t think we’ll see what we saw last week at Bay Hill.
Keegan Bradley- 12/1- click here to bet
Keegan another outright hopeful who's had a good start to 2013. KB has made 8/9 cuts with four top 10 finishes including T4th's at the TOC & Honda, solo 7th at the WGC Cadillac and T3rd last week at Bay Hill. In two appearances here he has a T51st in '11 and T4th last year. A good ball striker, long off the tee and good all around player Keegan will look for his first victory of the year at Redstone. Some key stats for this week. 16th Driving Distance, 8th Scoring Avg., 12th All Around, 8th Scrambling, 14th Par 4 Performance, 5th Par 5 Performance.
Hunter Mahan- 16/1- click here to bet
Hunter back to defend his title and has been playing well this year. In seven events played this season Hunter has not finished outside the top 26 when he T26th at the TOC. Since then Hunter has picked up a top 10 when he T8th at the NTO and took 2nd place at the WGC Match Play. For the most part has performed well at this course, has three mc's since '04 however when he has made the cut hasn't finished worse then 11th. Won last year, T8th('11), T6th('09), T5th('07), T11th('06). This course sets up well for his game, let's look at some key stats. 11th GIR, 14th Strokes Gained Putting, 17th Birdie Avg. 12th Ball Striking, 17th Par 4 Performance
Steve Stricker- 12/1- click here to bet
Steve making his fourth start off the year on a shortened schedule for 2013. He's had a brilliant start to the campaign thus far has not finished outside of the top 5. Took solo 2nd at the TOC, tied for 5th at the WGC Match Play, and again took solo 2nd at the WGC Cadillac which Tiger won. Pretty good history at Redstone for Stricker, since '06 is 5/6 cuts made and aside from last years T36th hasn't finished outside eleventh. Solo third in '06 and tied for fourth in '11. We'll expect his stellar play to continue this week, some of this weeks key stats. 1st GIR, 2nd Strokes Gained Putting, 1st Scrambling, 2nd Birdie & Scoring Avg., 6th Par 4 Performance.
Dustin Johnson- 25/1- click here to bet
DJ has had a quite the start to his 2013 season. He kicked off '13 with a win at the windy weather shortened TOC and then had to w/d from the Sony due to flu like symptoms. During the west coast swing he couldn't get anything going after making his relationship w/ Paulina Gretzky became public. Since then he has showed signs of life opening with a 66 at the Honda before weekend rounds of 74, 75 put him out of contention. In his last start at the WGC Cadillac he finally played four solid rounds of golf and finished T12th. This course sets up well for his game being a bomber off the tee with a solid short game we expect Dustin to have his head in this tournament as a good prepper for the Masters.
Chris Kirk- 40/1- click here to bet
Chris is a solid player who we expect to play well this week. Pretty good start to '13 for Kirk who has made 6/7 cuts highlighted by a T5th at the Sony and solo 2nd at Pebble Beach. In his only appearance at Redstone in '2011 Kirk shot four rounds in the sixties to T2nd. A product of Georgia, he will look to get himself into Augusta for the first time this year. Some of Chris’ key stats, 53rd Driving Distance, 6th Strokes Gained Putting, 6th Scoring Avg., 13th Birdie Avg., 9th Proximity to Hole, 4th Par 4 Performance, 25th Par 5Performance.
Ryan Palmer- 80/1- click here to bet
Ryan is a solid tee to green player offering some good value this week. Decent start to '13 for Palmer who has made 5/7 cuts and has two top 10 finishes to show for it picking up a T6th at the Humana before taking 5th in Phoenix. His last six starts at Redstone have looked like this 21, mc, mc, 19, mc, 21. A little inconsistent however I feel this may be a good year for him has his game is shaping up nicely for this course. Some key stats, 5th Driving Distance, 22nd GIR, 15th Scoring Avg., 31st All Around, 10th Ball Striking, 6th Final Round Scoring, 32nd Proximity.
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