2021 Houston Open Odds & Picks: Scottie Scheffler & Tyrrell Hatton Fit Memorial Park Well
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Scottie Scheffler.
- The TOUR is deep in the heart of Texas this week at the Houston Open.
- Scottie Scheffler comes to Houston following a solid finish at Mayakoba, while Tyrrell Hatton has played well this fall.
- Matthew Vincenzi breaks down how he's backing each player at Memorial Park below.
2021 Houston Open Full Odds
Click here to see the full odds board as of Monday
|Harold Varner III||+5000|
|Erik Van Rooyen||+6000|
|Dawie Van Der Walt||+25000|
As the fall season begins to wind down, the PGA TOUR makes a pit stop in Houston to play the 2021 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course.
In the past, the TOUR has gone to Houston the week before the Masters, but the schedule change this season has resulted in the event being featured in the swing season. This will be the second year of a two-year contract with Memorial Park Golf Course as the tournament host.
Memorial Park is a Par 70 layout, measuring 7,432 yards and features Bermudagrass greens. Historically, the main defense for the course will be fairly thick rough and tightly mowed runoff areas around the greens. Memorial Park also features three Par 5’s and five Par 3 holes.
The field will consist of 132 players, with the top 65 and ties making the cut. There are some big names making the trip to Houston including: Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Tyrrell Hatton, Sungjae Im, Joaquin Niemann, Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Reed and Adam Scott.
Past Winners at The Houston Open
- 2020: Carlos Ortiz (-13)
- 2019: Lanto Griffin (-14)
- 2018: Ian Poulter (-19)
- 2017: Russell Henley (-20)
- 2016: Jim Herman (-15)
- 2015: J.B. Holmes (-16)
Let’s take a look at several metrics for Memorial Park to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds:
Strokes Gained: Approach
Last season, Memorial Park played pretty tough. Golfers were penalized for missing greens and had to face some difficult up and downs to save par.
Total Strokes Gained: Approach in past 24 rounds:
- Russell Henley (+24.1) (+650)
- Mito Pereira (+23.8) (+1600)
- Adam Scott (+19.0) (+2000)
- Hudson Swafford (+18.7) (+3300)
- Talor Gooch (+18.7) (+3300)
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Memorial Park is a long golf course, with rough that can be relatively penal. Therefore, a combination of distance and accuracy might be the best metric. There were some big hitters atop the leaderboard last year, with Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day and Sam Burns all finishing in the top seven.
Total Strokes Gained: Off the Tee in past 24 rounds:
- Taylor Pendrith (+21.6) (+4000)
- Keith Mitchell (+16.7) (+9000)
- Sam Burns (+16.5) (+2200)
- Trey Mullinax (+15.9) (+20000)
- Mito Pereira (+15.4) (+33000)
Strokes Gained Putting: Bermudagrass+fast
The Bermudagrass greens played fast last year in Houston. Additionally, five of the top seven players on the leaderboard gained more than six strokes putting each, which is more than we typically see on TOUR.
Total Strokes Gained Putting (Bermudagrass) past 24 rounds:
- Sam Burns (+25.9) (+8000)
- Denny McCarthy (+20.1) (+20000)
- Chesson Hadley (+19.1) (+9000)
- Mackenzie Hughes (+18.7) (+15000)
- Patrick Reed (+17.8)(+2200)
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
With firm and undulating putting surfaces, holding the green on approach shots may prove to be a challenge. Memorial Park has many tightly mowed run-off areas. Golfers will have challenging up and downs around the greens. Carlos Ortiz gained 5.7 strokes around the green on the way to victory in 2020.
Total Strokes Gained: Around the Green in past 24 rounds:
- Danny Willett (+18.6) (+6600)
- Scott Piercy (+16.1) (+20000)
- Harry Higgs (+13.6) (+8000)
- Tyrrell Hatton (+13.4) (+1800)
- Aaron Wise (+12.9) (+50000)
Strokes Gained: Par 5
Last year, Strokes Gained: Par 5 rated out as the most important statistic at Memorial Park. Carlos Ortiz and Hideki Matsuyama led the way in par 5 scoring and finished 1-2 on the leaderboard.
Total strokes gained in category in past 24 rounds:
- Keith Mitchell (+20.6) (+12500)
- Chad Ramey (+16.1) (+7000)
- Taylor Pendrith (+14.8) (+650)
- Cameron Smith (+13.8) (+1600)
- Francesco Molinari (+13.6) (+50000)
Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.
These rankings are comprised of SG: App (25%) SG: OTT (25%); SG: Putting bermudagrass/Fast (16.7%); SG: Par 5 (16.7); and, SG:ARG (16.7%)
- Sam Burns (+650)
- Mito Pereira (+1600)
- Cameron Smith (+3300)
- Sungjae Im (+5000)
- Russell Henley (+3300)
- Jhonattan Vegas (+1200)
- Luke List (+4000)
- Aaron Wise (+3300)
- Seamus Power (+4500)
- Harold Varner III (+9000)
2021 Houston Open Best Bets
Scottie Scheffler (+1800, Bet365): Scottie Scheffler came very close to a magical final round Sunday at Mayakoba. In the end, Viktor Hovland was rock solid and Scheffler made a few mistakes down the stretch that would force him to settle for a solo fourth-place finish,
Although he didn’t do quite enough to earn a win in Mexico, Scheffler heads to Houston with a great deal of momentum and confidence. The former Texas Longhorn has shown throughout his career he enjoys returning to the state that he has called home since the age of six. Last season, he finished runner-up to Billy Horschel at the WGC Match Play in Austin.
On paper, Scheffler has the proper skill set to tame Memorial Park, which might prove to be a tough test if it plays like it did last season. When looking at the leaderboard from the inaugural event, what stands out immediately is golfers who hit the ball long and straight peppered the leaderboard. Johnson, Koepka, Burns and Matsuyama all finished in the top seven of the event and Scheffler’s skill set mirrors theirs nicely.
Scheffler might very well be the most talented golfer on TOUR who is yet to have a win. The 25-year-old standout has a strong chance to change that this week if he can make some putts when it matters most.
Tyrrell Hatton (+2800, Bet365): One of the most important aspects of competing at Memorial Park is being able to scramble around the greens, and few on TOUR do that better than Tyrrell Hatton. The course has an abundance of steep run off areas that can cause some real trouble on the scorecard if a player isn’t careful. Last year, Ortiz gained almost seven strokes around the green and Hatton has the crafty know-how to replicate that this week.
While his finish last week in Mexico was just average, the Englishman has played some good golf recently and finished in a tie for second at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship five weeks ago and 18th at the CJ CUP in October.
Hatton’s tendency to get a little loose off of the tee is most definitely a concern, but Memorial Park might suit his eye as he finished tied for ninth in the field last season here in Greens in Regulation Gained. The 30-year-old also seemed to like the undulating green complexes and gained 5.8 strokes putting, which ranked seventh in the field.
Currently the 19th ranked player in the world, Hatton hasn’t had a win on TOUR since March of 2020 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. I’m a firm believer in Hatton’s overall talent and believe he has the right type of game for Memorial Park, especially if it plays a bit difficult.
Patrick Reed (+4000, DraftKings): Despite a second-place finish two weeks ago in Bermuda, Patrick Reed has been extremely underwhelming over the course of the past five months. That strong performance seemed to be more of an outlier than the norm when evaluating his other recent performances.
That being said, Reed’s betting odds have drifted to a number that I consider “close your eyes and bet it” territory. While there’s absolutely a chance Reed struggles again, there is also a higher-than-odds-indicate chance that he wins the golf tournament.
In the past, we have seen Reed win despite seemingly not being in the best of form. In his two most recent wins, the 31-year-old won the Farmers Insurance Open after a missed cut; and, the WGC Mexico after a 51st-place finish the week before. If anyone can spike a win out of nowhere, it’s the guy in the field who has nine TOUR victories on his résumé.
Ian Poulter (+9000, Bet365):
When discussing golfers who have had excellent results in Texas, you’d be hard pressed not to mention Ian Poulter. In 2018, Poulter willed his way to victory at Golf Club of Houston by defeating Beau Hossler in a playoff, which earned him a trip to Augusta National the following week. Last season, Poulter showed once again that he loves a Texas track by finishing in a tie for third place at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
In his four most recent trips to the state, Poulter is averaging more than three strokes putting on the field per event. The Englishman feels more than comfortable on fast bermudagrass greens and should be up to the challenge once again in Houston.
A tough test where scrambling is key really suits Poulter’s game, as evidenced by the fact that he gains abut 0.6 strokes per round on the field in difficult conditions. Additionally, he ranks eight in the field in Scrambling Gained which will absolutely play a factor on these tough green complexes.
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