Houston has been hosting PGA Tour events longer than any other city in the United States and is played at the par 70 Memorial Park Golf Course that has been stretched to 7,410 yards following a recent renovation by architect Tom Doak, who was assisted by Tour player and four-time major champion Brooks Koepka.
The tournament has bounced around the area since its inception in 1946, moving to its current location for last year’s event that was won by Carlos Ortiz by two shots over Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama.
With only one tournament left following the Houston Open on the Tour schedule in the 2021 calendar year, a number of top players are in the field to compete for FedEx Cup points before taking a break for the holidays. This includes Koepka, Scottie Scheffler, Matthew Wolff, Tyrell Hatton, Tony Finau, Adam Scott, and 11 other major champions participating at Memorial Park.
Last week, Viktor Hovland picked up his third Tour win and second in a row at the World Technology Championship at Mayakoba, outdistancing the field by four shots over Carlos Ortiz thanks to a third-round, nine under par 62 on his way to a tournament-record score of 23 under par 261. Ortiz will be playing at Houston, while Scheffler and Wolff also finished in the top five in Mexico.
Betting Odds for the Houston Open
Sam Burns, the winner of his second Tour event earlier this season at the Sanderson Farms Championship, who has jumped out to the FedEx Cup points lead with another top five in the CJ Cup @ Summit in his most recent start, is the favorite with odds of +1200.
Scheffler, who has been knocking on the door to finally break through for his initial Tour win, is next at +1800 along with three-time winner Australian Cameron Smith, who tied for ninth in his only 2021-2022 start in the CJ Cup.
Ironman Sungjae Im is at +2000, followed by Talor Gooch, who faltered with a final round 74 last week at +2200, with Wolff, Hatton, and Finau coming in with odds of +2500. Koepka and Scott stand at +2800, former Masters champion, and Houston resident Patrick Reed has odds of +3000 with former Open Championship winner and European Ryder Cup player Shane Lowry at +4000.
Houston Open Favorites Picks
Eventually, Scheffler is going to get his first win on Tour, and after a slow start to the season, his performance last week in Mexico showed he is poised to grab that initial victory. We don’t usually repeat picks, but in this case, it’s justified, especially with the finish the Texas native turned in last week in a top-five effort.
It wouldn’t be unusual if Talor Gooch bounced back after a tough finish to contend for his first PGA Tour victory in his eighth season as a pro with four top 11 finishes in as many starts to begin the 2021-2022 season. Gooch showed flashes of progress last season, finishing fifth in the Players Championship and recording a fourth place in last year’s Houston Open.
Even though Koepka missed the cut last week in Mexico, he should have a bit of an advantage over the field as he was on the team that redesigned Memorial Park and is looking to build on his tie for fifth in last year’s event. He’s had a less than great start to the 2021-2022 campaign, with his best finish a tie for 38th at the CJ Cup.