The PGA tour makes its way to Texas this week for the Houston Open as the best golfers on the circuit look to find some form heading into next week’s Masters. David August has been in superb tipping form of late and has picked out some huge price selections ahead of this week’s event…
David August's Houston Open Tips
Matt Kuchar 1pt ew @ 25-1
Graham DeLaet 1pt ew @ 40-1
Charley Hoffman 1pt ew @ 66-1
Matteo Manassero 1pt ew @ 150-1
WHERE: Golf Club of Houston (formerly Redstone), Humble, Texas.
NOTES ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT: Returns to its customary slot as the appetizer prior to the main event, the US Masters next week. As usual there is a strong line-up with six from the top-10 in the world rankings taking part.
COURSE CHARACTERISTICS: The layout has many similarities to Augusta and has been consistently used as a warm-up to the first major. The four par fives are an extremely tough challenge, while the 484-yard 18th, with water running along the entire left side, consistently ranks among the toughest closing holes. Overall a good touch in and around the greens is the key.
RORY McILROY (11-1): Could be preparing his game for next week's US Masters. Having said that, he's been playing fairly well this year anyway so should be in the firing line.
DUSTIN JOHNSON (16-1): Closed with a 65 to claim fourth spot last year and with two seconds, a fourth and a sixth from five outings in 2014 he must be one to consider.
HENRIK STENSON (20-1): Should be a leading contender as he's posted a second (2013) and third (2009) in this event in three appearances and his fifth at Bay Hill last time signalled a return to top form.
SERGIO GARCIA (25-1): Another who could be using this to fine tune his game for Augusta as he has only taken part in one previous Houston Open. Nevertheless, he's a top-class player who can't be completely ignored.
MATT KUCHAR (25-1): I think he could prove best of those towards the head of the market as he has good course form (eighth place last two starts) and decent current form (fourth in the Texas Open).
JORDAN SPIETH (25-1): Made no show on his debut last year in Houston, however, he's a better player now, while a 10th last Sunday in San Antonio should have restored his confidence.
KEEGAN BRADLEY (28-1): Obvious one for the short-list of possible winners having posted top-10s in each of the last two seasons and arrives on the back of a second at Bay Hill.
PHIL MICKELSON (28-1): Can't be backed with any confidence following his withdrawal from last week's Texas Open. Reportedly in good shape but I would look elsewhere.
HUNTER MAHAN (33-1): The 2012 champion is third in all-time earnings at Houston. However, I would be cautious about backing him as he's returning from a lower back injury and might just need this.
GRAHAM DeLAET (40-1): It's about time the Canadian got his head in front on the PGA tour and I'm willing to back him to do so in Houston. The 40-1 available looks a reasonable offer.
BILL HAAS (40-1): Led with a day to go in 2013 before slipping back to 10th. But that was a big improvement on previous starts and with a recent sixth at Doral along with a 14th last time out, he makes some appeal.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL (40-1): The best of four appearances in Houston is a third in 2010. Back to that form and the ninth place finish at Doral last time and he's going to be one of the leading contenders.
LUKE DONALD (50-1): Missed the cut both times he's taken part in this contest, with the most recent being in 2010. Should improve on that this time round following a fourth last time out in the Valspar Championship.
STEVE STRICKER (50-1): Playing a limited schedule this year and has not shown a lot in two outings. However, does have a decent record in Houston (three top-10s in last 10 years) so worth keeping in mind.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN (66-1): As a player who has not missed a cut in Houston in seven appearances and has a top-10 along with a couple of top-25s, I reckon he's worth backing at current odds. Also, respectable 11th on Sunday.
FREDRIK JACOBSON (80-1): With three top-20s and a 10th at Bay Hill in his last four outings this year, the Swede merits plenty of respect despite no playing record in Houston.
BRENDAN STEELE (100-1): Good chance of claiming a high finish if returning to the form of a 10th in the Northern Trust Open and a sixth in Phoenix.
MATTEO MANASSERO (150-1): The young Italian has proved he can handle US conditions (eighth in the Valspar Championship last time out) so I'm willing to risk a small investment at 150-1.