To read about the 2016 Shell Houston Open click, 2016 Shell Houston Open Predictions, Picks and Sleeper
Jimmy Walker did it again with an impressive victory at last week’s Valero Texas Open but there is no rest for the weary as the PGA Tour rolls into Houston for the next stop of the “Texas Swing” for the 2015 Shell Houston Open. With the Masters right around the corner, many of the top players in the World Golf Rankings will be taking a breather this week. However, 15 of the world’s top-30 will be in the field including Texas native, Jordan Spieth. Sergio Garcia and world number two, Henrik Stenson, will also be competing.
What remains to be seen is whether this year’s edition of the Shell Houston Open can match the drama that unfolded in 2014. For those that do not remember the drama, Matt Jones won his first PGA Tour event after making an almost 50 foot bomb to force a playoff before chipping in on the first playoff hole to win the title.
Dates: April 2 -5 2015
Course: GC of Houston (Tournament)
Stats: Par 72, 7,441 yards
Television Broadcast Coverage (Times):
Thursday: Golf Channel 3:00 – 6:00 PM EST
Friday: Golf Channel 3:00 – 6:00 PM EST
Saturday: Golf Channel 1:00 – 3:00 PM EST, NBC 3:00 -6:00 PM EST
Sunday: Golf Channel 1:00 – 3:00 PM EST, NBC 3:00 -6:00 PM EST
Purse: $6.6 million total purse, $1.188 million winner share
Shell Houston Open Swing Holes
The 335 yard, par-4 12th hole is what many consider to be the classic risk/reward scenario. The design here almost tempts the player to take a shot at getting home off the tee. Water protects the right side of this hole and the fairway landing areas are not as clear cut as many holes this length. Players are staring birdie in the face at the 12th but if they lose a tee shot right or if the wind pushes the tee shot then a watery grave and bogie are the realities of the effort.
The 487 yard, par-4 17th hole brings its own challenge off the tee. In order to take advantage of roll and better position a second shot into this green, players have an opportunity. There is a challenging bunker down the left side of the fairway. Carry it and reap the rewards, fail and lose all hope of reaching this long par-4 in two. Playing down the right side is the safe play but will force a long iron into a challenging green protected by formidable bunkers. The wheels can come off right here.
The closing hole of the Golf Club of Houston plays to 484 yards and is another challenging par-4. Another risk/reward tee shot awaits the field and the course/tournament would not have it any other way. Water laces the left side of the 18th and forces players to decide just how much of the hole they want to cut off. Assuming a player properly navigates the tee shot with the tournament on the line, they are forced into a long second with water guarding the green on the left and a bunker on the right. I can’t think of a much better way to end the Shell Houston Open.
Shell Houston Open Top Picks
A full field will be at the Golf Club of Houston this week for the event. With the Texas wind, challenging design and fairly evenly matched field who is the most likely to win this week at the 2015 Shell Houston Open? Attempting to pick a winner out of a full field event is a lot like a needle in a haystack. Let’s see if I can get things rolling with 2015 PGA Tour predictions. It’s time to get to the predictions and picks for the 2015 Shell Houston Open.
|Matt Kuchar||What can you say, the man knows how to make cuts. He has made the cut in all nine starts of the 2015 season and appears to be heading in the right direction off his tie for 15th last week. In his last three starts at the Shell Houston Open, he finished tied for 8th in 2010 and 2011 and lost in a playoff last year to Matt Jones.|
|Phil Mickelson||His poor play in 2015 is no secret and his fall to 21st in the World Golf Rankings backs that up. But he is preparing for the Masters next week and took the last three weeks off to heal up and right the ship. In recent memory he has success here at the Shell Houston Open with a tie for 12th in 2014, a tie for 16th in 2013, a tie for 4th in 2012 and a win here in 2011.|
|Jordan Spieth||His last four starts include a tie for 4th at the Northern Trust, a tie for 7th at Pebble Beach, his second career win at the Valspar Championship and a runner-up finish last week at the Valero Texas Open. Success has eluded the Texas native at the Shell Houston Open but he is on form and seems to have broken his Texas jinx with the runner-up finish last week. A lighter than normal field does not hurt.|