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Horses for Courses: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open

3 Min Read

Horses For Courses

    Written by Mke Glasscott @MikeGlasscott

    Last year Memorial Park Golf Course was preparing 132 players for the first-ever fall Masters Tournament. After Tom Doak completed his 2019 renovation this became the first time this municipal track hosted a TOUR event since the early 1960s

    Wild times.

    Last year Carlos Ortiz won this inaugural event and then in his next start went on to finish second at Mayakoba. Last week he finished second at Mayakoba but he withdrew this week due to an injury.

    Last year Dustin Johnson (not entered) and Hideki Matsuyama (not entered) finished tied for second. Johnson went on to win the Masters the following week and Matsuyama won the Masters proper the following April.

    Wild, wild times.

    After just one event on a new track it can be difficult to sort data so I've turned to Rob Bolton and his Power Rankings for this week for clues. I've passed along my findings so you can use them as part of your formula for cracking the Memorial Park code this week. Bolton's analysis is the standard bearer on our field so not using his insight would be a bit daft. Plus he gave Horses for Courses a shout out last week so I'll gladly return the favor.

    Tom Doak's redesign of Memorial Park had help from Brooks Koepka as player-consultant. The Par-70 stretches just over 7,400 yards and interestingly enough employs FIVE Par-3 holes and THREE Par-5 holes. The combination of yardage and an additional Par-5 makes sense that the leaderboard was filled with guys who could get after it last year. Mini Verde Bermuda greens are on average of 7,000 square feet making ample targets to aim for from the fairway or from the two inches of 419 Bermuda guarding them. Only 19 bunkers and two water hazards (in play on just four holes) will keep play at a decent pace on the other 51 weeks of the season. Torrey Pines is the only other municipal course used on TOUR annually.

    A field of 132 returns this week to claim a piece of the $7.5 million purse and a trip to the Masters and Sentry Tournament of Champions. The winner will also pocket $1.35 million and 500 FedExCup points plus a two-year exemption.

    This week I've provided a different angle for gamers. I've listed the top finishers, as usual, but I've also included a few stat categories from last year that might provide clues for the event this time around.

    Recent Event Winners Stats

    WinnerCarlos Ortiz
    Runner-UpDustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama
    All Drives13
    Putting: Birdie or Better %T20
    SG: Off-the-Tee31
    SG: Approach-the-Green14
    SG: Around-the-Green2
    SG: Putting5
    SG: Tee-to-Green5
    Bogey AvoidanceT1
    Par-3 ScoringT4
    Par-4 ScoringT14
    Par-5 ScoringT1

    2020 Debut Winner

    Carlos Ortiz (-13, 267)

    Editor’s note: Unable to defend his title after withdrawing this week due to injury

    Fired a final round 65, his best of the week, to win by two shots. ... At the time became the third Mexican to win on TOUR. ... One of three players to post all four rounds in the 60s. ... Trailed by one after 54 holes and two after 36 holes. ... Led or co-led the field in Scrambling, Bogey Avoidance and Par-5 scoring. ... Cashed T35, T48 in the two events he played prior. ... Claims his first TOUR victory at age 29 in his 118th start.


    Only 14 bogey-free rounds for the week. ... Top 37 finished in red figures. ... Only three players 10-under or better. ... Lowest round of the week was 63 set by Mackenzie Hughes (T7), Hideki Matsuyama (T2; not entered) and Talor Gooch (4th), all on Sunday. ... Brandt Snedeker (T44) led with 65 after 18 holes. ... Sam Burns (T7) led by two after 36 holes and one after 54 holes. ... Cut was 3-over 143. ... 71.025 scoring average.

    Key stat leaders from 2020 EDITION

    Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
    Sam Burns1T7
    Dustin Johnson2T2
    Harold Varner III3T15
    Shane Lowry4T11
    Carlos Ortiz5WIN
    Hideki Matsuyama6T2
    Patton Kizzire7T11
    Jason Day 8T7
    Maverick McNealy9T20
    Adam Long10T11
    Talor Gooch114th
    Aaron Wise12T11
    Strokes Gained: Putting
    Mackenzie Hughes1T7
    Brooks Koepka2T5
    Dawie van der Walt3T20
    Sepp Straka4T5
    Carlos Ortiz5WIN
    Austin Cook6T24
    Tyrrell Hatton7T7
    Talor Gooch84th
    Doc Redman9T61
    Hideki Matsuyama10T2
    Russell Knox11T15
    Erik van Rooyen12T20
    James Hahn13T50
    JT Poston14T20
    Par-5 Scoring
    Sam Burns1T7
    Hideki Matsuyama1T2
    Carlos Ortiz1WIN
    Brice Garnett1T50
    Brandt Snedeker5T44
    Justin Harding5T38
    Lanto Griffin7T58
    Aaron Wise7T11
    Erik Barnes7T38
    Talor Gooch74th
    Matt Jones763
    PlayerRankTotal BirdiesFinish
    Hideki Matsuyama121T2
    Will Gordon220T38
    Brooks Koepka220T5
    Dustin Johnson220T2
    Adam Scott519T32
    Sepp Straka618T5
    Mackenzie Hughes618T7
    Carlos Ortiz618WIN
    Viktor Hovland917T15
    Scottie Scheffler917T32
    Shane Lowry917T11
    Cameron Tringale917T29
    Jason Day917T7
    Maverick McNealy917T20

    Horses for Courses: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open

    PlayerScoreTournament Finish2020 Notes
    Talor Gooch-94thClosed with 63, co-low round of the week; 2nd Putting
    Brooks Koepka-8T5Closed 65-65; Player design consultant
    Sepp Straka-8T5All 4 rounds in the 60s; T8 GIR
    Sam Burns-7T7Led by 2 after 36; Led by 1 after 54; First 54 hole lead
    Jason Day-7T7T5 GIR
    Tyrrell Hatton -7T7Top 10 Putts and GIR
    Mackenzie Hughes -7T7Closed 68-63
    Adam Long-6T11Top 10 Fairways and GIR
    Shane Lowry-6T11All 4 rounds in the 60s
    Aaron Wise-6T11T1 GIR
    Russell Knox-5T15Just 5 bogeys, 1 Double
    Francesco Molinari-5T15T5 Putts
    Michael Thompson-5T15T4 Fairways
    Harold Varner III-5T154th GIR

    Key stat leaders

    Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

    Strokes-Gained: Tee-to-Green
    11Brooks Koepka
    13Sergio Garcia
    16Tony Finau
    18Tyrrell Hatton
    19Shane Lowry
    20Russell Henley
    21Scottie Scheffler
    23Luke List
    24Charley Hoffman
    25Seamus Power
    25Aaron Wise
    31Jhonattan Vegas
    32Joaquin Niemann
    33Harold Varner III
    35Kyle Stanley
    37Jason Day
    39Sungjae Im
    Strokes-Gained: Putting
    2JT Poston
    3Ian Poulter
    4Patrick Reed
    5Zach Johnson
    6Jason Kokrak
    9Sam Burns
    10Cameron Smith
    11Chesson Hadley
    15Mackenzie Hughes
    16Cameron Tringale
    18Adam Scott
    22Denny McCarthy
    25Brian Harman
    27Hank Lebioda
    31Brice Garnett
    34Lanto Griffin
    Par-5 Scoring
    1Cameron Smith
    7Brooks Koepka
    7Sergio Garcia
    7Ryan Palmer
    11Sam Burns
    13Max Homa
    13Joaquin Niemann
    13Brian Harman
    21Scottie Scheffler
    21Carlos Ortiz
    21Luke List
    21Anirban Lahiri
    28Hank Lebioda
    30Sungjae Im
    30Vincent Whaley
    35Talor Gooch
    35Tony Finau
    35Patrick Reed
    35Kevin Tway
    35Cameron Tringale
    42Sepp Straka
    42Matthew Wolff
    42Aaron Wise
    42Seamus Power
    42Brandt Snedeker