With the Masters on the horizon, players head to Houston for their annual tuneup for Augusta at Redstone Golf Club. Redstone is well-known for its ability to approximate the Augusta National setup, and many players from overseas and weekly on tour use it as a rehearsal for the first Major of the season which is just two weeks away. Due to where Easter falls on the calendar, the Shell Houston Open is this week, two weeks before the Masters, instead of its usual one-week-before position with the Valero Texas Open squeezed in next week..
One player who looks in fine form headed to the Masters is Tiger Woods who won’t be playing this week after dominating the weekend on his way to another win at Bay Hill. I had Tiger and second-place finisher Justin Rose in my foursome last week but both seemed fairly predictable so many in our Fantasy CPR Group benefited from their 1-2 finish. The win for the week in our group went to GG GoLo who also played Keegan Bradley and Rickie Fowler who tied for third earning even more bonuses and rounding out GG’s total of 234 for the week. Eagle’s Nest maintained the overall lead this week and things tightened up in the chase pack as we head into the final week of the Winter Segment on Yahoo’s Fantasy Golf game.
Here’s my picks for this week in Houston:
Phil Mickelson: With Tiger on fire, it’s Phil’s turn to answer. He won the Shell two year’s ago with a record score at this course and finished t4 last season. Mickelson dominated the Waste Management Phoenix Open en route to his first win this season and was coming off a t3 at Doral before missing the cut last week at Bay Hill. I think he’ll bounce back this week and be ready for a strong finish at Redstone this week.
Rory McIlroy: Rory showed signs of being back in his last round at the Blue Monster where he shot a bogey-free 65 to get his first top 10 of the PGA season. McIlroy is now #2 in the world with Woods passing him up last week, but he does have a top 20 at Redstone and could get himself ready for Augusta with a nice finish this week.
Hunter Mahan: Mahan won the Shell Open last year and has four top 11’s in his last six starts at Redstone. He’s also shown good form this season with top 25’s in his last seven tournaments highlighted by a second-place finish in the Match Play event.
Steve Stricker: Stricker is playing just his fourth tournament of the PGA Tour season finishing solo second in the two stroke play events and making the quarterfinals in the Match Play Championship. He was 2nd to Tiger two weeks ago at Doral, and has a solid history at Restone with four top 12 finishes in six trips.
Cameron Tringale: Tringale faded with a 74 in the fourth round but still finished t27 last week at Bay Hill. He fired a 68 on Saturday and is starting to put up some nice rounds. He’s streaky, but if he gets things rolling he can end up on the Sunday leaderboard like he did last year at the Shell where he finished t8.
Keegan Bradley: Bradley finished t3 last week giving him three top 10’s in a row. He also logged a t4 in last year’s event and has the all around game that should allow him to finish well here again this year.
Bryce Molder: Molder has made the cut in all seven of his PGA Tour events and has four top 25 finishes. He finished t18 last year at Redstone for his second top 20 in the last three years at this event.
John Huh: Huh had three great rounds last week before fading with a final round 80 to finish t27. He’s been inconsistent all season with three top 30’s and four missed cuts. He looked very close last week and makes a nice sleeper pickup if he can shake off his fourth round from Bay Hill. Huh finished t14 last year at Redstone.