March 28 2012
The PGA TOUR is back at Redstone this week for the Shell Houston Open
Two things you need to know about the Tournament Course at Redstone: As usual, the par 5s must be birdied. Why? Because the last two holes -- both par 4s -- measure a combined 978 yards.
First, the good news. Redstone has some long par 5s -- the shortest is 557 yards -- but the big hitters can get home in two. Phil Mickelson, last year's winner of the Shell Houston Open, went for the green 15 times in 16 tries last year. He ended up 14 under on the par 5s, picking up a staggering nine shots on the field.
Mickelson holed out a field-leading three times during the week. It was the fifth time Mickelson had accomplished that in the ShotLink era.
Mickelson's stats en route to victory in 2011:
|Statistic||Mickelson rank||Mickelson stat||The rest of the field|
|Driving Distance||6th||314.6 yards||292.7 yards|
|Going for green (par 5s)||1st||89.47 percent||40.47 percent|
|Approaches, 50-125 yds||1st||7 feet, 6 inches||19 feet|
|Par 5 Scoring Average||1st||4.13||4.73|
|Par 3 birdie percentage||1st||37.50||10.02|
One more thing to watch: the fairway bunker on the 18th coming down the stretch on Sunday. With water going all the way down the left side, many players will bail out into the bunker ... but someone with a one-shot lead might not have that option. That fairway bunker catches more tee shots than any other fairway bunker on TOUR:
|Cog Hill||1||4||462||24.5 percent|
|TPC Louisiana||7||5||561||22.5 percent|
|Harbour Town||6||4||419||22.5 percent|