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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Shell Houston Open - Preview

The Shell Houston Open returns to a familiar venue with a different name this week, as Redstone GC is now the Golf Club of Houston (Tournament). This tournament dates back to 1946, when some guy named Byron Nelson picked up the trophy. D.A. Points is the defending champion this time around.

As to the course, the Golf Club of Houston is a par 72, stretching out 7,441 yards. The four par 5s are all over 550 yards, and two of the four par 3s top 216 yards. Three of the par 4s top 480 yards, with the remainder fairly moderate in length with the exception of the 338-yard 12th.

When looking at past results, look no further back than 2006. That's when Redstone GC Tournament Course took over as the host venue. Here's a peek at the winners and runners-up since then.

  • 2006 - Stuart Appleby (269) over Bob Estes (275)
  • 2007 - Adam Scott (271) over Stuart Appleby and Bubba Watson (274)
  • 2008 - Johnson Wagner (272) over Chad Campbell and Geoff Ogilvy (274)
  • 2009 - Paul Casey (277) over J.B. Holmes (277 Playoff)
  • 2010 - Anthony Kim (276) over Vaughn Taylor (276 Playoff)
  • 2011 - Phil Mickelson (268) over Chris Kirk and Scott Verplank (271)
  • 2012 - Hunter Mahan (272) over Carl Pettersson (273)
  • 2013 - D.A. Points (272) over Billy Horschel and Henrik Stenson (273)
When looking at the list above, it tends to be one of class. While we may not think of Appleby as an elite player now, he was in 2006 and 2007. Same for Chad Campbell in 2008 and so on. International players also have a good track record here, so don't shy away from a Euro, South African or Aussie. 

In terms of stats, trends are tough to identify. What does seem to stand out is GIR and strokes gained-putting. I'll also likely lean on Par 4 and Par 5 scoring average, and may take a look at some "boutique" stats that will play well for long par 3s and above average par 5s. 

We will return tomorrow with a look at our power rankings.

Until then, happy research!

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