Here's who we're backing for glory in Houston

The likes of Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson are in town to fine tune their game ahead of the Masters. Here’s who I’m backing for Houston Open glory, but first…

Venue: Memorial Park Golf Course, Houston, USA

Date: November 5-8, 2020

Course stats: Par 72; 7,432 yards

Course summary: With the new sponsor comes a new venue, the municipal Memorial Park Golf Course. This long, flat, tree-lined parkland should play relatively easily for the players, with very few obvious defences. Minimal bunkering protects the large Bermuda grass greens, with short rough flanking the generous fairways. Expect low scores.

Purse: $7 million

Defending champion: Lanto Griffin (-14)

Houston Open TV coverage

Thursday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) from 12.50pm and Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 6pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) from 12.50pm and Sky Sports Golf from 6pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) from 2pm and Sky Sports Golf from 6pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) from 2pm and Sky Sports Golf from 6pm

Houston Open staking plan

Brooks Koepka – 2pts win @ 22/1 with Bet365

Koepka has made just one appearance so far this season, where he finished T28 in Las Vegas, but his performances last season suggest this course will suit his game. In the 2020 campaign, Koepka ranked in the top 30 for both Driving Distance and SG: Tee-to-Green. Based on the figures the former World No 1 should relish the challenge of a long track, with generous fairways and accessible greens. At a reasonable price, especially in relation to other favourites in the market, I am backing Brooks for a bold effort this week. 

JT Poston – 1pt e/w @ 75/1 with bet365

Poston has had a mixed start to the new campaign, with a 3rd-place finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship the highlight. That performance was particularly memorable for the fantastic work he produced on the greens, gaining 2.12 strokes with the putter. A return to Bermuda grass this week is a bonus, especially as he won his sole PGA Tour title on that surface at the Wyndham Championship. Poston also ranks 15th for Par-5 Scoring, so he has every chance on a new course where the numbers seem to be in his favour. 

Beau Hossler – 1pt e/w @ 175/1 with bet365

Memories of the play-off defeat to Ian Poulter in 2018 will no doubt still play on the mind of Hossler, but a new venue and a respectable run of recent form could give him a great chance to go one better this week. Six consecutive cuts made, including a T26 in Bermuda, will boost confidence. Hossler also typically plays well on Bermuda grass, so when you combine that with respectable length of the tee, and a clear affinity for Houston and this event, Hossler is far too tempting at that price. 

Mackenzie Hughes – 1pt e/w @ 90/1 with bet365

At the Corales PuntaCana Championship, where Hughes finished 3rd, he went off as one of the favourites and despite two sub-par efforts recently I am shocked to see him priced so high. Hughes ranked as the 8th best putter on tour last season, and despite a slower start to this campaign he is returning to a putting surface that he has had success on previously (RSM Classic 2017). At the back end of last season Hughes was sublime, with three consecutive top-15 finishes in three play-off events to secure a T14 finish at East Lake. Those performances were not that long ago, and with a very appetising price I am going to gamble on Hughes to show a return to form this week. 

For more prices, visit bet365.

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