The PGA Tour moves back onto the mainland with the Houston Open in Texas. We have previewed the event and given you our suggested betting tips for the tournament.
Houston Open 2022 Tips
- Denny McCarthy each-way (1/5 8 places) – 30/1
- Joel Dahmen each-way (1/5 8 places) – 40/1
- Sepp Straka each-way (1/5 8 places) – 50/1
- Mackenzie Hughes each-way (1/5 8 places) – 60/1
The Cadence Bank Houston Open is one of the oldest events on tour, dating right back to 1946, where Byron Nelson won from Ben Hogan at River Oaks Country Club. Since then, the event has been played at several courses in and around the Houston area, before settling back at Memorial Park in Harris County in 2020. The course had previously held the tournament in 1947 and again in 1951-1963.
The total purse on offer this week is $8.4m , with $1.35m going to the winner. Last year’s winner, Jason Kokrak won with a score of -10, two shots clear of Scottie Scheffler and Kevin Tway.
Memorial Park is Texas’s top rated municipal golf course and the 18-hole layout dates back to 1936. It benefitted from a full renovation back in 1995 at a cost of $7m and then a further $34m revamp in 2020 in conjunction with Tom Doak, with a design input from Brooks Koepka.
We are left with a Par 70, 7,432 yard layout, which usually plays a fair bit shorter on tour. There are five par 3’s on the course and the tight layout and tightly cut run off areas around the green make this one of the more difficult courses on tour. Fairways and greens in regulation are below the tour average in Houston and that was reflected by the relatively low winning score in the last two outings here.
Quality ball striking will be key this week.
Course record holder Scottie Scheffler leads the field of 132 this week at just 5/1, after his superb last round in Mexico last week, saw him finish T3rd. Next up we have the American pair of Sam Burns and Tony Finau at 12/1, followed by last week’s pick Aaron Wise (16/1).
Hideki Matsuyama heads a host of golfers at 20/1, including last week’s winner in Mexico, Russell Henley, who won this tournament back in 2017. The only other previous champion taking part is 2016 winner Jim Herman, at 400/1.
Jason Kokrak will obviously not be defending his title, having defected to the rebel LIV Golf tour.
Scheffler is obviously in fine nick after his 62 on Sunday and has form here but I’m not getting involved at 5/1. Instead I’m going to look further down the field and have picked out four contenders around the middle of the market.
Denny McCarthy each-way (1/5 8 places) – 30/1
Denny McCarthy has been on the PGA Tour for four years now and is still waiting on his first win. However, the 29-year-old has improved his game year-on-year and has had several near misses.
The University of Virginia alumni had five Top 10’s last season and picked up another when finishing T6th in Bermuda two weeks ago.
McCarthy shot a 64 here last year on the way to finishing T11th and finished T38th in 2020.
Joel Dahmen each-way (1/5 8 places) – 40/1
Another American is up next and Joel Dahmen has had a fine start to the 2022/23 season, with four straight made cuts and three Top 20’s. The 34-year-old finished T3rd last week and his game looks in great shape right now.
Dahmen picked up his first win at the Corales Puntacana Championship in 2021 and this could be a great fit for his second. He finished T5th in Houston last year.
He is ranking 11th for SG: Tee to Green, showing his consistency and accuracy off the tee and with approach irons.
Sepp Straka each-way (1/5 8 places) – 50/1
Austrian Sepp Straka has had a disappointing response to his devastating playoff loss at the start of the season, at the Sanderson Farms, with two average finishes and a missed cut.
He likes it at Houston though, finishing T5th in 2020 and won at the Honda Classic last year, which is a closely linked course to this one.
The 29-year-old has a solid all round game and has improved his approach play this year. His putting is excellent as always which will come in handy on these tricky greens.
Mackenzie Hughes each-way (1/5 8 places) – 60/1
Last pick up is Mackenzie Hughes, who of course was the victor in that playoff with Straka at the Sanderson Farms. That secured his 2nd tour win after his win at the RSM Classic in 2016.
The Canadian backed up the win with two more Top 25’s and is clearly in great form right now. He’s ranking great on approach (20th) and around the green (9th), while he’s also loving life with the flat stick too ( 15th).
Hughes finished T7th here in 2020 and shot a final round 63, showing he can tear this course to pieces, if he can maintain his driving accuracy.