The Golf Club of Houston is the venue, and Matt Jones returns to defend his only PGA TOUR title. The Golf Club of Houston is the same layout as Redstone GC (Tournament), but was rebranded the Golf Club of Houston before last year's edition. That means the par-72 layout of 7,441 yards has been in play since 2006 and will be very familiar to this week's participants.
The course has the expected number of par 3s, 4s and 5s for a par-72 venue, with four each of the par 3s ad par 5s. In terms of statistics, the trend is for players who hit a lot of GIR and gain strokes on the field with the putter to emerge. That's a slight shift from the past few tournaments where the strokes gained: tee-to-green metric has been far superior to SGP.
Here is a look at winners and runners-up since 2006:
- 2006: Stuart Appleby (269 / 19-under) 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) in a playoff
- 2010: Anthony Kim (276) over Vaughn Taylor in a 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)
- 2014: Matt Jones (273) over Matt Kuchar in a playoff
Given the winning score is well under par, par breakers are also a stat worth considering.
One final note, the Golf Club of Houston prides itself on setting up the course as close to Augusta National as possible. They do so to attract as strong of a field as possible ahead of the first major of the season. Expect greens to be firm and fast.
We will crunch the numbers over the next 24-48 hours and see what the spreadsheet produces.