With one week to the year’s first Major, the PGA Tour heads for Texas and the Shell Houston Open. A world-class field will tee it up at Redstone Golf Club as the players complete their final preparations for the Masters.
The Houston Open began life in 1924 and over the years it’s seen some notable winners including Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer and Roberto DeVicenzo. Last year Johnson Wagner shot a course record 63 in the opening round en-route to securing victory and a last-minute start at Augusta.
15 of the top-20 players on the Official World Golf Ranking are on the starting sheet this week. It’s the strongest field in the Shell Houston Open since 1986.
Europe will be well represented in the event with Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy all set to start.
Venue: Redstone Golf Club Tournament Course, Humble, Texas
Date: April 2-5
Course stats: par 72, 7,457 yards
Purse: $5,600,000 Winner: $1,008,000
Defending champion: Johnson Wagner (-16)
Thursday 2nd – Live on Setanta Golf from 8pm
Friday 3rd – Live on Setanta Golf from 8pm
Saturday 4th – Live on Setanta Golf from 6pm
Sunday 5th – Live on Setanta Golf from 7pm
Geoff Ogilvy – The Australian was tied second here and has finished in the top-ten three of the five times he’s teed it up at Redstone.
Phil Mickelson – After Tiger’s victory at Bay Hill last week, Phil will look to hit straight back with a win here to, once again, put pressure on Woods at the top of the World Ranking.
Padraig Harrington – He’s becoming a Major specialist and, as such, he’ll be looking to peak next week. He may not win at Redstone but don’t be surprised to see him finish in the top five.
Key hole: 18th. A monster par-4 of 488 yards, a lake borders the entire left hand side of the hole. From the tee the golfer must attempt to carry as much water as possible to reduce the length of the second shot. The approach is equally challenging as anything straying to the left side will find a watery grave.
Skills required: Long hitting. At almost 7,500 yards this is another monster course. With dry and fast course conditions, expect to see some massive drives through the course of the week.