Shell Houston Open Preview

This weeks venue on the PGA tour is Redstone, and it offers players the perfect opportunity to hone their skills for next weeks Masters. The course is set up much like Augusta in an obvious attempt to attract some big names and with the likes of Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson and defending Masters champion, Charl Schwartzel, all playing it has certainly accomplished that.

None of our picks this week shall come from this group, but thanks to their inclusion all of ours are available at better odds (than would be available if these three were not playing), and for this we should be very thankful. Unless one of them wins that is.

First up is Steve Stricker at 14/1. Tied for fourth here last year, Stricker has finished in the top ten in three of his last four events. He is currently ranked fifth on tour for greens in regulation and we all know how good a putter he is. Put it this way, if he is not up there come Sunday evening I will gladly eat my pantalones.

Next up we have Ernie Els at 25/1. Els is playing cracking stuff at present, and another good performance is needed this week if he is to qualify for the Masters. This added incentive should be enough for Els to continue his run of two consecutive top five finishes and if he can get his putter going we might get a chance to back him again next week.

Last up is Bud Cauley at 50/1. Like Els, Cauley needs a good finish this week to earn a place in the Masters and like Els he was tied for fourth last week. Unlike Els, Cauley has no course form, but as this is his first season on tour we can forgive him this fact. Especially when he is such a large price.

Running total for 2012: +48 pts

Bets this week:

2.5pts e/w Steve Stricker @ 14/1 win (1/4 odds, 5 places)

1pt e/w Ernie Els @ 25/1 (1/4 odds, 5 places)

1pt e/w Bud Cauley @ 40/1 (1/4 odds, 5 places)


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