The Houston Open is the last event before the Masters, and the last chance for players to secure that final invite with a victory.
Russell Henley was the lucky player whose victory last year booked his spot in the first major of the year, and while he’s back to defend his title, he’s already going to be appearing at Augusta next week thanks to finishing T11 last year.
However, there’s plenty of players looking to match his feat this week in Houston. Ian Poulter, who was the unfortunate player who missed out by a single spot on the World ranking, and 2016 runner-up Lee Westwood, are both teeing up this week in a bid to make it in to the Masters field. They are joined by Ernie Els, JB Holmes, Shane Lowry, Brandt Snedeker, Padraig Harrington, and many others including William McGirt, Bud Cauley and Russell Knox.
But they’ll have a lot of competition from the likes of Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson. Find out how to watch, and who to watch this week in Houston.
How To Watch
Featured Groups: Sky Sports Main Event (13:30), Sky Sports Golf (13:30)
Live Coverage: Sky Sports Golf (21:00)
Featured Groups – Houston Open: Sky Sports Golf (13:30)
Live Coverage: Sky Sports Golf (21:00)
Sky Sports Golf (19:00), Sky Sports Main Event (21:45)
Sky Sports Golf (19:00), Sky Sports Mix (20:00), Sky Sports Main Event (20:00)
Who To Watch
Skipped the Match Play last week, but has had three top 10s in his last four starts, including finishing 3rd at the Arnold Palmer Invitaitonal. He’s also finished in the top 15 twice in his last three trips to Houston, including a T15 last year. Ranks 5th SG: Total, 7th for putting average and 4th in scoring average on the PGA Tour.
Full of momentum after his first victory in nearly 5 years at the WGC Mexico Championship. Has gone T17-1-T6-T2-T5 in his last five starts, and is ranked inside the top 10 on the PGA Tour for SG:Putting, SG: Approach to the green, Scoring average, birdie average and scrambling. T13 here last year,
Another one to skip the match-play, Stenson finished 4th in his last start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He’s had two other top 10s in his last five starts in 2018, and although he missed the cut here last year, was T2 in 2016.
The Texan native has had a bit of a mixed start to 2018, with two missed cuts and four top 20s and two further top 10s in his last eight starts. He’s currently ranked 2nd for scrambling, 11th in scoring average (actual) and 9th in SG: Tee to green. MC here last year but T2-T13 in previous two starts.
He’s had a bit of a mixed start to 2018 following his win at the Hero World Challenge in December, going T4-MC-T11-MC-T37-T14 in his six starts this year. Finished T3 last year.
Berger lost all three of his group matches at the WGC Dell Match Play, but has been inside the top 14 on four separate occasions in 2018 so could be a threat this week. Not particularly strong in any stats, but has back to back 5th place finishes in Houston.
Another player who had a bad week at the WGC Dell Match Play, but his game has been trending in the right direction. Hadn’t been worse than T26 in six starts, which included a play-off loss to Justin Thomas at the Honda Classic and a T7 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Needs a win to make it in to the Masters.
Charles Howell III
T9-T14 in his last two starts, and is looking for a win to get in to the Masters. He’s currently ranked 10th in GIR and 12th in SG: Tee to Green. Three top 10s in his last five starts in Houston.
The World No.51 needs a victory this week to get in to the Masters, and after a few disappointing results he put on an impressive motivated display on the opening few days following his T5 finish at the WGC Dell Match play.
Finau has been blowing a little hot and cold, with a T2 at the Genesis Open and T6 at the Farmers Insurance Open, but also two missed cuts in his last six weeks. Was T17 in the match play last week, and is currently ranked T10 SG: Tee-to-green, 14th for Scoring Average and 1st for driving distance.