DFS Golf Preview: Houston Open 2019
The PGA Tour returns to Houston after a year hiatus as Henrik Stenson is far and away the favorite with his 8-to-1 odds (next best is 21-to-1). Stenson also leads all golfers with an $11,400 salary on DraftKings and an $11,900 salary on FanDuel. Recent winner Cameron Champ is second on both sites ($10,800 – DK and $11,100 – FD). Daniel Berger ($10,600 – DK and $11,000 – FD), and Brian Harman ($10,600 – DK and $10,900 – FD) are priced in the top five on both sites. Scottie Scheffler ($9,900 – DK and $10,800 – FD) is the fifth-most expensive golfer on FanDuel, whereas Russell Henley ($10,100 – DK and $10,500 – FD) is the fifth-most expensive golfer on DraftKings. DraftKings gives you $50,000 to select six golfers (average roster spot of $8,333), whereas FanDuel provides you with $60,000 to select six golfers for an average roster spot of $10,000.
- The Houston Open (formerly Shell Open) is played at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas. The par-72 course measures 7,441 yards and has hosted this event since 2003. The event used to be played the week before the Masters, but was moved in last year’s PGA schedule restructure.
- There are 140 players scheduled to tee it up this week with the top 65 (and ties) making the cut.
- This is a weak field as only two players in the Official World Golf Ranking’s top 50 are playing here this week (Henrik Stenson – 34th and Keegan Bradley – 43rd).
- The greens are now Bermuda (used to be bentgrass) and the fairways are wide. The biggest obstacle on this course seems to be the water, which comes into play on 10 of the holes.
- The winning scores have averaged 17 under par the last eight years. Ian Poulter won in a playoff against Beau Hossler at 19 under par when this event was last held during the 2017-18 season.
- Every winner of the Houston Open since 2012 has been in the top 10 for the week in terms of Greens in Regulation. Pat Perez and Harris English are ranked in the PGA’s top 10 for GIR for this young 2019-20 season.
- Russell Henley and Jhonattan Vegas have made six cuts in a row at the Houston Open. Stewart Cink has made the cut in five straight and 2008 champion Johnson Wagner and Scott Brown have a streak of four going for them.
- Past winners in the field include Russell Henley (2017), Jim Herman (2016), Matt Jones (2014), D.A. Points (2013), Hunter Mahan (2012), and Johnson Wagner (2008).
- Henrik Stenson, Brian Harman, Xinjun Zhang, and Lanto Griffin are the only golfers in the field that have consecutive top-20 finishes in their last two starts.
Favorite High-Tier Play
Henrik Stenson ($11,400 – DK; $11,900 – FD)
He has played on the weekend in 15 straight events worldwide. His last event was the BMW Championship on the Euro Tour, where he finished T17. He finished T3 before that at the Scandinavian Open. Though he hasn’t played on the PGA Tour in a while, he is still playing golf and doing well. He has a T6 and a runner-up finish at this event in his last three starts. He is the best player in the field and his world-class ball striking should keep him in contention against this weak field.
Favorite Mid-Tier Play
Lanto Griffin ($8,000 – DK; $9,500 – FD)
All he has done since getting his card is earn four straight top-20 finishes. His price is getting up there where it’s not as easy to click his name, but he is a good player and is feeling good about his game right now. In the last 24 rounds, he is fifth overall in total strokes gained and sixth in fantasy points scored. Historically, GIR is even more important here than at some other events. Griffin is ranked 20th in the field over the last 24 rounds.
Favorite Lower-Tier Play
Doc Redman ($7,200 – DK; $8,400 – FD)
Ever since I won a bunch of money using him at the Rocket Mortgage Classic when he went from being a Monday qualifier to a runner-up finish, I have made it a habit to click on his name. He is still too cheap, especially considering that he is essentially the same price as he was last week (which was a far superior and deeper field). He is not real strong with the flat stick or around the green, but he is top-notch striking the ball. He should bomb it into the fairway and then stick it on the green. If this is the week the short game clicks, then we may have another Rocket Mortgage outcome. In the last 36 rounds, he is third in ball striking, fifth off-the-tee, and ninth in fantasy scoring.
Favorite Core Play
Cameron Tringale ($8,700 – DK; $9,600 – FD)
He has made the cut in 10 of his last 11 events. The only MC during that stretch was at the Northern Trust (playoff event). He only has one top-five finish during that stretch (Rocket Mortgage Classic) but has been consistent. He missed the cut here last year, which snapped a streak of seven straight, which included top-five finishes in 2015 and 2014. In the last 24 rounds, he is seventh in this field for total strokes gained and fantasy scoring. He is someone that can score much better than his finishing position.
Russell Henley ($10,100 – DK; $10,500 – FD)
Henley is six-for-six at the Houston Open with five straight top-10 finishes. This includes a win in 2017. He leads the field by a country mile in total strokes gained.
Jamy Bechler is a regular contributor to FantasyPros for NBA, NFL, and PGA. You can follow him on his DFS Twitter @WinningDFS101. When he is not playing DFS, Jamy is an author, host of the “Success is a Choice” podcast, and a leadership consultant, working with businesses and teams across the country (including the NBA). Even though he offers his advice on players and contests, after additional information and consideration, he may end up using different players and strategies than what he recommended in this article.