Quick look at the Houston Open
October 09, 2019
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- October 09, 2019
Inside the PGA TOUR
Houston Open Preview
After a year off as the new schedule took shape the Houston Open returns in a new time slot in the expanded fall portion of the FedExCup after spending significant time as the precursor to the Masters. But it still seems like yesterday a fist pounding Ian Poulter took out a young Beau Hossler in a pulsating playoff. Perhaps this time the heroics will fall to his European teammate Henrik Stenson who makes his 2019-20 season debut.
The 488-yard par-4 18th has provided plenty of drama over the years as one of the most difficult finishing holes on TOUR. It was the ninth hardest finishing hole in 2018 (4.223) – the last time we were at the Golf Club of Houston – primarily because of the water down the entire left side and the bunkers on the right. There is no faking it here. If you want to win this tournament you need to step up and hit good shots or you open the door for others.
Golf Club of Houston - Hole No. 18
The 338-yard par-4 12th hole provides players with a risk-reward opportunity as they look to make a run. Of course laying up with iron is always an option given the water down the right side and the bunkers on the left but those who thread the needle can certainly find the putting surface and set up an eagle chance. Here’s a look at where everyone played from off the tee in 2018.
From meteorologist Joe Halvorson: Southeasterly winds will increase in speed on Thursday, bringing back an influx of humidity along with an isolated coverage of showers during the afternoon. A strong cold front will bring a likely chance of showers (60% rain probability) and a few thunderstorms (30-40% lightning probability) for Friday. There remains some uncertainty with the exact timing of this cold front, but generally expect a passage sometime between 10am-1pm Friday. Blustery north-northwesterly winds are expected to occur behind the cold front Friday afternoon. A lingering shower or two will remain possible early Saturday morning, otherwise expect much cooler and drier conditions to take over for the weekend.
For the latest weather news from the Golf Club of Houston, check out PGATOUR.COM’s Weather Hub.
SOUND CHECK“It’s always sad when one of the trusties has to retire,”
BY THE NUMBERS
6 – Number of fall series winners (from eight tournaments) who went on to qualify for the season-ending TOUR Championship and had a chance at the FedExCup last season. Will we get a glimpse of a potential champion this week? The fall now has 11 events and last season all 30 TOUR Championship players had starts in the fall.
605 – The amount of points early FedExCup leader Sebastián Muñoz already has tallied up as he looks to extend his spot atop the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 list. There are 17 players in this week’s field who can steal top spot away this week.
63 – The current course record. Held jointly by Sung Kang (2017), Scott Piercy (2015), Jimmy Walker (2011), Phil Mickelson (2011), Johnson Wagner (2008) and Adam Scott (2008).
24 – Number of playoffs at the Houston Open including last time out when Ian Poulter defeated Beau Hossler.
Houston native and University of Texas sophomore Cole Hammer is set to make a second career start on the PGA TOUR and first since the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay at age 15. Currently sits No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Was a member of the winning 2019 Walker Cup team and won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as 2019's top amateur.
This is the third time the Houston Open will be played in the fall. The first time was in November 1966 when Arnold Palmer shot a final round 69 to take the prize. The other was in October 1991 when Fulton Allem shot 66 to overtake a handful of challengers, including Tom Kite.
While the Houston Open has been played at the Golf Club of Houston since 2003, the Tournament Course has served as the Host Course since 2006. Beginning in 2020, the tournament will be played at Memorial Park, a city-owned park in downtown Houston.