The Shell Houston Open does not take place the week before the US Masters for the first time in recent history due to the Valero Texas Open not wanting to be held over Easter weekend.

The set-up of the course is similar to that of the US Masters so a strong field has been attracted to play.

Rory McIlroy is playing this week and is a very short priced favourite at 8/1. Although he played better at the WGC – Cadillac Championship there is not enough value here to touch him.

Keegan Bradley at 14/1 with Ladbrokes, One of the PGA Tour’s star attractions, has had three Top 5s this season including a tied 3rd last week. Finished 4th here last season as well, how Rory is shorter odds is beyond me.

Steve Stricker at 14/1 with Ladbrokes, has four top 11 finishes here in six starts and this season has three top 10s including 2 runner up spots. Seems to be playing as well as he ever has, bound to compete.

Lee Westwood at 33/1 with Ladbrokes, has had an inconsistant year on the PGA Tour with 4 Top 25s, which could really have all been Top 10s. Has finished in the Top 30 the last four years at this event with one top 10 in 2010.

Charles Howell III at 50/1 with Ladbrokes, really surprised to see how big his odds are here, finished top 10 in 2012 and had top 30 finishes in 2012 and 2010. Has started the season off superbly with three Top 10 finishes.

Ben Curtis at 100/1 with Ladbrokes, he finds himself at this end of the market having not featured since the PGA Championship last August. Finished T21 last week with a final round 74 and it may be the start of another good run from this streaky player.

Shell Houston Open advised bets:

3pts each way on Keegan Bradley at 14/1 with Ladbrokes
3pts each way on Steve Striker at 14/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Lee Westwood at 33/1 with Labrokes
2pts each way on Charles Howell III at 50/1 Ladbrokes
1pts each way on Ben Curtis at 100/1 with Ladbrokes