Featured Groups: Shell Houston Open
March 29, 2016
By Brian Wacker , PGATOUR.COM
- Phil Mickelson has finished in the top 20 in each of his past five tries at the Shell Houston Open. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Shell Houston Open is the final stop before the Masters. The tournament has long embraced its spot on the calendar by setting up the Golf Club of Houston with Augusta National-like conditions -- fast greens, little rough, etc. -- and in turn continues to land an attractive field.
Thirteen of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings and a dozen of the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking are in the field, including Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Jimmy Walker and last week’s runner-up Louis Oosthuizen.
Also, a win this week by anyone not already eligible for the Masters gets him in.
PGA TOUR LIVE’s broadcasts will begin at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday and Friday with Featured Groups coverage and then switch to the Featured Holes (the par-3 14th and the par-3 16th) at 4 p.m. ET.
J.B. Holmes is the defending champion and is in the Featured Groups the first two rounds. Current FedExCup rankings are in parentheses.
Charl Schwartzel (16), Rickie Fowler (18), Henrik Stenson (60): Schwartzel and Fowler are coming off early exits from the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play, while Stenson hasn’t played since the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard two weeks ago, finishing third in that start. The Swede was also a runner-up in Houston three years ago.
Tee times: Rd. 1 – 2 p.m. ET off No. 1; Rd. 2 – 9:10 a.m. ET off No. 10
Jordan Spieth (13), J.B. Holmes* (50), Patrick Reed (17): Holmes is the defending champion and has four finishes in the top 11 in his last six starts. Spieth, meanwhile, was runner-up to Holmes a year ago, losing in a playoff before going on to win the Masters a week later. Reed, who lives in Houston, has finished in the top 10 in three of his last five starts and tied for 17th in each of his last two trips to Houston. (*Holmes withdrew Wednesday and will be replaced by Luke List, who is 98th in the FedExCup)
Tee times: Rd. 1 – 2:10 p.m. ET off No. 1; Rd. 2 – 9:20 a.m. ET off No. 10
Vaughn Taylor (31), Phil Mickelson (19), Sergio Garcia (29): Taylor beat Mickelson earlier this year at Pebble Beach, where the latter had a 5-foot putt on the last to force a playoff but missed. The victory provided job security for Taylor, while Mickelson was left to ponder what might have been. Lefty has played well since, though, and he has won previously in Houston, in 2011. Garcia likewise has some history in Houston, finishing third in the event in 2014.
Tee times: Rd. 1 – 9:10 a.m. ET off No. 10; Rd. 2 – 2 p.m. ET off No. 1
Tony Finau (25), Dustin Johnson (26), Louis Oosthuizen (38): Finau is fresh off a victory last week in Puerto Rico and won’t have any trouble keeping up with Johnson as they’re two of the longest hitters in the game. Oosthuizen is by no means short, and he’s in good form having finished second last week at the WGC-Dell Match Play.
Tee times: Rd. 1 – 9:20 a.m. ET off No. 10; Rd. 2 – 2:10 p.m. ET off No. 1
PGA TOUR LIVE coverage of the 2016 Shell Houston Open