The PGA Tour rolls into Houston for the next stop of the “Texas Swing” for the 2016 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.
What remains to be seen is whether this year’s edition of the Shell Houston Open can match the drama that unfolded in recent memory. 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 in 2014 as just on example.
Dates: March 31 – April 3 2016
Course: GC of Houston (Tournament)
Stats: Par 72, 7,441 yards
Television Broadcast Coverage (Times):
Thursday: Golf Channel 4:00 – 7:00 PM EST
Friday: Golf Channel 4:00 – 7:00 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: $6.8 million total purse, $1.224 million winner share
2016 Shell Houston Open Predictions, Picks, Sleeper | GC of Houston Three Holes To Watch
Hole No. 12 – Par 4, 335 Yards
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.
Hole No. 17 – Par 4, 487 Yards
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.
Hole No. 18 – Par 4, 484 Yards
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.
2016 Shell Houston Open Predictions, Picks, Sleeper | GC of Houston Selections
Let’s take a look at three players that I would predict to be right in the hunt coming down the stretch on Sunday at the 2016 Shell Houston Open. Two players will seem more logical than the other but I am adding a player that just might surprise, basically a sleeper for success at the 2016 Shell Houston Open Predictions, Picks, Sleeper | GC of Houston
|Phil Mickelson||But he is preparing for the Masters next week and appears that in 2016, to some degree, he has righted the ship which includes three top-5 finishes. In recent memory he has success here at the Shell Houston Open with a tie for 17th last year, a tie for 12th in 2014, a tie for 16th in 2013, a tie for 4th in 2012 and a win here in 2011. Lefty seems like he is close to a win yet again and it would not shock me if it happened this week.|
|Jordan Spieth||This year he has already carded three top-10s including a win at the Tournament of Champions. What can you say? The man is good. His home state success has eluded the Texas Native at the Shell but last year he played very well and fell just short in the playoff loss to J.B. Holmes. Plus he is a rested after the R&R with Rickie and crew on the boat after the Match Play exit. Talented, focused and loving life.|
|Cameron Tringale||Tringale is a name that many will not recognize. He has never won an event and hovers outside the top-64 in the World Golf Rankings. He has his moments of great play and his poor weeks like many but the Shell Houston Open seems to be a place where his level of play is more consistent due to a course that meets his eye and playing method. Historically he has four top-10s including a tie for 8th in 2012, a solo fourth in 2014 and a tie for 5th last year. He could step up for a career first this week.|