Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Houston Open
We're just one week away from the Masters, so it's hard to get super excited about any other golf event. But, hey, at least the Houston Open is more promising than the Corales Puntacana Championship (and possibly the WGC-Match Play if match-play events aren't your thing).
The PGA Tour heads to the GC of Houston for the final tune-up before Augusta. What do you need to know about this course?
Course and Tournament Info
GC of Houston is a par 72 that runs 7,441 yards long (Augusta is a par 72 that's 7,435). The bentgrass greens are fast, as well, so there's an Augusta corollary here. The winner gets an entry into the Masters, too, so those who haven't earned a slot could have extra motivation.
The course itself has played close to par over the past 10 years, even after a renaming in 2014.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Course||Par||Yards||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
|2017||24||GC of Houston||72||7,441||71.982||-0.018|
|2016||23||GC of Houston||72||7,441||71.885||-0.115|
|2015||41||GC of Houston||72||7,441||70.855||-1.145|
|2014||23||GC of Houston||72||7,441||72.245||0.245|
What do golfers need to do well here to succeed?
Strokes gained: tee to green and putting always are worth monitoring to see how well players are performing of late, but these other stats have been vital to success at GC of Houston in the past 12 years.
|Key Stats for the Houston Open at GC of Houston|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Strokes Gained: Putting (on Bentgrass)|
|Birdie or Better Rate|
The fairways are wide, and distance matters, yet strokes gained: off the tee matter more here than at other courses on the PGA Tour, per datagolf.ca. For that reason, it's the preferred off-the-tee stat this week over just distance or accuracy.
Greens have been easy to hit here, but those finishing in the top 25 since 2006 have recorded 74% of greens in regulation, per FantasyGolfMetrics. Those missing the cut hit only 65% in that span. So both GIR and scrambling make the list.
Putting always matters and is hard to predict, but with the greens registering a 12-plus on the Stimpmeter, per FutureOfFantasy, we should be trying to weed out the worst putters in the field.
With scores hovering around par, those who can record birdies and break par have done well, naturally. But aim for scorers more than par seekers.
Course History Studs
Per datagolf, Russell Henley leads the Tour in adjusted strokes gained at GC of Houston (+2.80). That's to be expected, as he's finished 45th, 7th, 4th, 5th, and 1st over the past five years.
Daniel Berger (+2.50), Phil Mickelson (+2.05), J.B. Holmes (+1.75), and Henrik Stenson (+1.69) round out the top five and are all in the field this week.
Mickelson has finished top-25 in 7 of 10 tries, and Hunter Mahan has done it in 6 of 12 attempts (but has two straight missed cuts).
Rickie Fowler has four top 10s in his past four years (6th, 71st, 10th, 3rd).
Jhonattan Vegas has consecutive top-20 finishes (19th and 15th), while Luke List narrowly missed out on that claim, finishing 27th and 3rd the past two years.