Perry: The Triple-Digit Longshots Worth a Bet at the 2019 Houston Open
Thomas J. Russo, Pictured: Lucas Bjerregaard
This week marks the PGA Tour’s return to Houston for the first time in about 18 months.
Prior to the Tour’s schedule change, The Houston Open was known as the event immediately preceding The Masters. But it was left off last season’s calendar due to sponsorship issues and has since been shifted to the Fall Swing.
This used to be one of my favorite betting events of the year. We’d get a few stars at the top who were all focused on Augusta, but their presence would increase the odds down the board and we’d find value on some longshots.
That doesn’t appear to be the case this year.
The Golf Club of Houston is pretty long at just over 7,400 yards for a par 72, but is one of the easier stops on tour. The winner will need to get into the high teens under par most likely.
There’s a lot of room off the tee for the bombers, but there is some water in play on about half the holes. Overall, I’ll be looking for good total drivers who can putt well on Bermuda Greens.
Henrik Stenson (+900) is the clear-cut favorite in this weak field. No other golfer is listed shorter than +2000.
Anyone who has shown any signs of life during the Fall Swing has had their odds slashed dramatically. For instance, Brian Harman is behind Stenson at +2000. We backed him at +7500 last week and he was never really in contention. But that’s enough in this field to push him to the top of the board.
Cameron Champ, who won at The Safeway two weeks ago, is at +2200 along with Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler. Just behind them is the 2017 champion, Russell Henley, at +2500
I can’t really recommend backing anyone in this range. We’ve invested in a couple of these guys in recent events, but when the odds are cut to this extent, I’m just going to look elsewhere.
I’m going to start here with a Euro Tour regular at +8000. Tom Lewis is coming off a win in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals and was fifth in the Alfred Dunhill Links birdie-fest a couple weeks ago.
Based on the world rankings, he’s one of the 10 best players here, but the price doesn’t reflect that at all. One caveat here. Lewis is listed in the field for both Houston and the European event in Italy. He’s obviously not playing both, but usually the PGA list is more accurate in these types of situations. But there’s an outside chance he’ll be removed from this field at some point.
Much like Lewis, Lucas Bjerregaard is a Euro Tour regular who is undervalued in a field like this, so we’ll back him at 100-1. His form isn’t as good as where Lewis is, but I’ll back the overall talent here.
We’ll also go way down the board with Zach Sucher at 250-1. His form has been decent, with a pair of top-25 finishes in his two starts in the new season. It’s worth a punt to see if his game can carry over this week.
Lastly, I’m throwing two darts on guys who aren’t playing well at all. Sebastian Cappelen and Martin Trainer are both bombers who will miss cuts constantly but have the ability to win out of nowhere with no form. They have three wins between them the last two years on the Korn Ferry Tour and Trainer also won in Puerto Rico last season to lock down a PGA Tour card.
These guys could easily take dead last, but with Cappelen at 350-1 and Trainer at 600-1, I’ll take a chance in a field that’s lacking for star power at the top.
We’ll look live after the first couple rounds and see if there’s anyone worth backing. But in a field like this, I tend to want to stick with the longer shots before the event and will maybe add a guy or two in the middle of the an event.
The Houston Open Card
- Tom Lewis +8000 (.41 units)
- Lucas Bjerregaard +10000 (.33 units)
- Zach Sucher +25000 (.13 units)
- Sebastian Cappelen +35000 (.09 units)
- Martin Trainer +60000 (.06 units)
Total Stake: 1.1 units