2017 PGA Shell Houston Open Prediction and Picks
Ready to bet this weeks on the 2017 PGA Shell Houston Open Odds? The final tune-up for next week’s Masters takes place this weekend in Texas when the Shell Houston Open will be contested. The venue – the Golf Club of Houston is as close to Augusta as a course could be. Golf Club of Houston is a par 72, 7441 track that will test every aspect of a player’s game.
There isn’t any one style that has prevailed here – bombers and slighter player alike have found success on this track.
2017 Shell Houston Open
When: March 30 – April 2, 2017
Where: Golf Club of Houston, Humble, Texas
Format: 72 holes – Stroke Play
Defending Champion: Jim Herman
Updated Sportsbook Bonuses For Today
The fairways are wide and the rough is very forgiving – we shouldn’t focus solely on what a player does off the tee.
That said length over accuracy has the slight edge. I will be focused on Greens in Regulation stats here – the large-ish greens will be super-slick like they will be next week meaning that placement on the greens is essential and a hot putter is crucial.
Play on the tough par 4s is also something to focus on – past winners have scored well on the par 4s – 10 of the last 11 winners of this event have finished inside the top 10 in this stat.
So, with all of that in mind, who should we be keeping an extra eye on this week? Dustin Johnson won’t be one of them – unfortunately he withdrew after a busy week in winning the Match Play last week.
2017 Shell Houston Open Favorites:
Jordan Spieth +800
With Dustin Johnson deciding to rest this week Spieth becomes the favorite. This Texan kid should be motivated to ramp up his game on a course that should suit his eye.
Although he’s not in “elite form” right now, every time Spieth tees it up he is a legitimate threat.
He enters as the PGA Tour’s top-ranked player in both strokes gained: approach-the-green and greens in regulation, is fourth in birdie-or-better percentage and he has contended here in the past – a playoff loss in 2015 and a T13 as well.
Despite not cracking the top 10 since his win at Pebble Beach something tells me he’s in for a big week – April after all seems to be his best month!
Jon Rahm +1200
Consistent Spaniard enters this week after a terrific run at the WGC-Dell Match Pay last week where he lost to Dustin in the final. He now has four top 5 finishes in the last eight weeks including a win at the Farmers.
He has yet to tee it up on this track but unfamiliarity hasn’t seemed to bother him so far in his young career. He is third on TOUR in strokes gained: tee-to-green and if exhaustion from last week hasn’t quite set in Rahm will be a serious factor again this week.
2017 Shell Houston Open Contenders:
Henrik Stenson +1600
Stenson has been a tad difficult to figure out but there is zero denying the talent that he possesses. His last three starts have resulted in a missed cut, a T7 and a WD thanks to illness – not exactly upwardly trending ahead of this week.
He has never missed a cut on this track while posting two runner-up finishes in his last three appearances here and another third place finish as well – his track history is undeniable.
Stenson’s game suits this course very well – he will need a good week to gain some momentum for next week’s Masters.
Rickie Fowler +1800
Sat out the Match Play last week but enters this week having finished inside the top 20 in four straight events including a win at the Honda Classic last month and a solo 12th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational a couple weeks ago.
He has been OK on this track – he has landed inside the top 10 in two of the last three years including a solo sixth in 2014 and a T10 in 2016.
He currently sits second on TOUR in adjusted scoring; first in scrambling and is inside the top 15 in both strokes gained: approach-the-green and strokes gained: putting. Fowler is quietly playing some great golf – don’t be surprised to see him in the mix Sunday.
Adam Scott +2500
Scott has been relatively quiet lately – he simply hasn’t been playing all that much. That said he has three top 20s in four events played this year, although he was last seen finishing T45 in Mexico.
He is a former winner here (2007) and he did finish T14 the last time he played here in 2014 but his strong iron play and terrific all-around game could make him a factor this week.
He is 15th on TOUR is GIR and 12th in par breakers and as one of the more rested guys in the event could make some noise.
Phil Mickelson +2500
Played pretty well last week at the WGC-Dell Match Play – making it all the way to the quarterfinals before bowing out – he now has five top 5 finishes in 2017.
Now he gets a crack at a course that he won on in 2011 and has finished inside the top 17 five straight times ahead of this week.
Phil claims that he doesn’t necessarily try to win this event (he works on his game for next week), but you have to think he will put his foot on the pedal and try to open a few eyes this week.
Russell Henley +4000
Henley is on the radar because of his course history alone.
He has gone T7, fourth and T5 in his last three appearances here and he finally put together four rounds three weeks ago when he finished T9 at Innisbrook – one of his three top 15 finishes in 2017.
Henley hasn’t been great but always shows up for this event – expect more of the same this week.
2017 Shell Houston Open Sleepers (+5000 or higher):
Charles Howell III +5000
Howell is usually a guy I like early in the season and cast aside during the spring/summer but he looked really good at the WGC-Dell Match Play where he fell to the red-hot John Rahm in the round of 16.
He now has five top 15s in eight starts this year. Now for the track record here – he has finished inside the top 10 in three of the last four years here and enters this week as confident as he ever has been.
Rafael Cabrera Bello +5000
Is another guy that looked pretty good at the Match Play last week. He has made the cut in every event he’s played the last year or so and currently sits 29th on TOUR in strokes gained: putting.
He has just one start on this track and it was a good one – a fourth place finish in an event he led the field in par 4 scoring, was second in scrambling and shot a closing round 65.
Cabrera Bello may not yet be a household name but he is certainly on my radar this week!
2017 Shell Houston Open Picks:
The pick this week is Phil Mickelson at +2500. He showed us something last week at the Match Play and his record to top 17 finishes in five straight years has me thinking that his game is right where he wants it to be ahead of the Masters.
The sleeper is Charles Howell III at +5000. He too played well last week at the Match Play and his track record here is as good as or better than Mickelson’s.
Golf handicapper DAVE B weighs in each week with his top selections. Including top picks and sleepers!
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