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Monday, March 30, 2015

Shell Houston Open - Power Ranking

The Shell Houston Open's Power Ranking took on a new form with the news breaking that Henrik Stenson has withdrawn due to the flu. Truth be told, he was the clear number one on the list with the perfect blend of current form, stats and course history.

With the Swede on the shelf, here's what's left:

  1. Jordan Spieth - Nearly a three-way coin flip at the top, Spieth's current form is stellar. His course history is not, and he will take a hit in the eyes of course history buffs because of that. Perhaps the biggest change for Spieth this season has been his ability to close strong when in the hunt.
  2. Jimmy Walker - He tied for 24th here last year, which was the best result of his eight tries. Looked invincible in his win last week, but won't get to Houston until late Tuesday or early Wednesday after a two-day detour to Augusta National. Georgia is clearly on his mind.
  3. Patrick Reed - I wanted to fall in love with him this week, but came up just short. His only trip here was a missed cut in 2013, but that's hardly a reason to hit the panic button. Add to that, he lost to Spieth in a playoff at the Valspar Championship in his last start. He's a Texas, as are the other two, and we know that Texans play well in their home state. 
  4. Matt Kuchar - He's the one the course history buffs will be all over this week. His last three starts here all went four top 10s including a P2 to Matt Jones last year. Current form is a bit below his standards of late, but did manage a T15 at the VTO last week in the worst of the pre-cut draw.
  5. J.B. Holmes - I don't know that any of the above four rank as a prudent play in the one-and-done format, but Holmes is certainly in the conversation. He's cracked the top 12 in three of his last four trips to Golf Club of Houston, including a runner-up finish and also finished second at Doral before missing the cut in his most recent start. His T12 here last year was the indicator of a win at Quail Hollow a few weeks later.
  6. Lee Westwood - The guy is racking up top 25s every time he tees it up and he has a history of doing just that in this event. It's hard to get too excited about him winning, but if you need a guy in the lower half of the top 10 with a top 25 at worst, look his way.
  7. Sergio Garcia - Hasn't quite got it clicking on all cylinders just yet, but the ball-striker finished third here last year. 
  8. Phil Mickelson - This is the perfect spot for Mickelson to announce his presence on the PGA TOUR in 2014-15. He's making cuts and hovering around the top 30 of late, but hasn't quite put four rounds together. Lefty has a history of peaking the week before majors...especially the Masters...so a savvy gamer might sneak in and steal one with the veteran. It's not without risk, but he's gone 1, T4, T16 and T12 in his last four trips to the Golf Club of Houston.
  9. Jason Kokrak - The big question is his ability to keep up the pace of playing the best golf of his life. He's cracked the top 11 in his last three PGA TOUR starts, getting as high as second in the finale last week before his T11. Has two missed cuts and a top 10 at Golf Club of Houston in his last three trips.
  10. Shawn Stefani - Strategically saved this start last year in an attempt to meet the terms of his Medical Extension and answered the bell with a fifth-place finish. He's posting a bunch of solid finishes in 2014-15, and is easy to fall for this week. I won't talk you out of him in any format.
  11. Matt Jones
  12. Rickie Fowler
  13. Paul Casey
  14. Bill Haas
  15. Louis Oosthuizen
  16. Charley Hoffman
  17. Carlos Ortiz
  18. Ryan Moore
  19. Cameron Tringale
  20. Hunter Mahan
  21. Brendan Steele
  22. Kyle Reifers
  23. Pat Perez
  24. Daniel Berger
  25. Chesson Hadley
I'm not quite ready to declare a one-and-done just yet, but will return tomorrow or Wednesday to do so. I will tell you that my short list includes Holmes, Mickelson and Stefani. I have Spieth and Reed available, but this isn't checking enough boxes to burn one of those studs. Much like last week with Ryan Palmer, I would be happy to burn Holmes, Mickelson or Stefani and walk away with a T6. 

Best of luck to all!

5 comments:

  1. Some really strong parallels between Dove Mountain and Houston. Don't get me wrong - stroke and match play are two different games, but Mahan, Kuchar and Casey seem to draw a strong line between the two courses. None are major winners so we can't blame pure class. And I'm leaving out Garcia, Holmes and a couple of others due to small sample sizes but there are more that have gone well at both.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why is Louis Oousthizen so low.. Form meeting course history. I think great for OAD..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why is Louis Oousthizen so low.. Form meeting course history. I think great for OAD..

    ReplyDelete
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