Weekly Golf Preview – Houston Open

Just one week away from The Masters and there is just one event for the world’s best to hone their game, the Houston Open.

Whilst a number of the world’s top players opt out to prepare for what Georgia has to offer – there is a sizeable amount who will be in Texas this week.

The tournament also offers the last qualifying places available for those hoping to play at Augusta.

See below as we run through the tournament for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing professional Cliff Jackson and Betfair.


  • Staged at the Golf Club of Houston, Texas
  • First staged in 1946
  • Current champion is Russell Henley

FIELD: A good looking field led by Texas native Jordan Spieth, who has made playing in his home state the week before the Masters his tradition. Fellow Americans Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson will guarantee packed galleries along with defending champion Russell Henley, whilst the European invasion is more then well stocked with Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Rafa Cabrera Bello amongst the favourites. Ian Poulter is also playing as he looks to clinch a late place at Augusta.

QUOTES: American star Jordan Spieth is out of sorts with his putting – arguably the strongest part of his game, but he is not too worried. “Everything is fine. Once again, like the British Open it looked like whatever, and then I make one putt and it comes back. I just need a couple of putts to go in at some point, it’s just taking longer than normal. A couple of putts go in and all of a sudden it starts raining.”

ODDS provided by Betfair:

    • Justin Rose 10/1
    • Jordan Spieth 11/1
    • Henrik Stenson 12/1
    • Phil Mickelson 12/1
    • Rickie Fowler 12/1
    • Daniel Berger 22/1
    • Luke List 25/1
    • Russell Henley 25/1
    • Matt Kuchar 28/1
    • Rafa Cabrera Bello 28/1
    • Tony Finau 28/1

The pro’s point of view…

Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.

Many are starting to think of The Masters already, but this is still a very interesting field – I think Spieth will show his class, whilst defending champion Henley will be in the mix but I like the look of Stenson – to runner-up finishes here before, he would be the one I look for this week.

The Bookie says…

We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action

It’s the week before the Masters and plenty of Augusta contenders are lining up for a pre-major win at the Shell Houston Open.

Justin Rose heads the betting at 10/1 with the out-of-form Jordan Spieth a tick back at 11/1. Henrik Stenson, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler can all be backed at 12/1.

Betfair PGA Tour expert Dave Tindall is happy to rule out the leading quintet – all of whom can be backed at 40/1 or shorter to win next week’s Masters – for a variety of reasons. Read his preview here >>> https://betting.betfair.com/golf/golf-bets/houston-open-field-players-each-way-tips-betting-preview-27-march-2018-270318-719.html

One angle that may reward this week is to back those who need a win to make next week’s big show. A host of high-profile names are on that list – Brandt Snedeker, Lee Westwood, JB Holmes, Shane Lowry, Ian Poulter – and we can expect at least one of them to have a big week.

Poulter may be the one to do that. The Englishman often plays well when he has a clear goal to aim at and he was in good nick last week until running into eventual finalist Kevin Kisner at the WGC Matchplay. At 66/1 he can reward with seven places paid.

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