casey

Hey, can anyone tell me if no. 18 is a hard hole?  I don’t think I heard Johnny Miller or Dan Hicks tell us once.  OK, I’ll lay off of them for a little bit, especially since it was such a beast (par 4’s averaging over 5 shots per hole are not common) and since they did a pretty decent job overall.

So…

Howabout that playoff?  EXCITING!  Well, until JB hit his drive into the water and let Paul Casey coast to his first win on US soil.  This year’s Shell Houston Open was a freaking rollercoaster with as many guys making huge charges as there were bursting into flames.  Read on for the full recap.

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leonard1

Not much of anything, really.

Wind caused the opening round to be halted, so while Phil and a bunch of others got screwed and had to deal with the nasty conditions of slick greens not being able to hold a ball, a cast of others didn’t even make it out.

Lee Westwood is leading at -4 with a bunch of guys at -2, including Justin Leonard.  It should be no surprised that Leonard and Westwood had nice rounds as both guys are extremely used to playing in windy conditions…Westwood from his experience in Europe and Leonard in Texas.  Play resumes today.

The next stop on Tour is Redstone Golf Club Tournament Course for the Shell Houston Open. There is a great field present this week for a pre-Masters tuneup. There are some pretty nice pairings scheduled for Thursday. Vijay Singh, Henrik Stenson, and Sergio Garcia are together, as well as Anthony Kim, Ernie Els, and Hunter Mahan. Some other notable players are Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, Justin Leonard, K. J. Choi, and Padraig Harringon. Last year Johnson Wagner won this event and this year’s winner will take home $1.008 million of a $5.6 million purse. Wagner finished 2 shots  in front of Geoff Ogilvy to finish the tournament -16. Fred Couples finished T4/-13, Pat Perez finished T8/-10, and K. J. Choi finished T11/-9 among other notable finishes. The course will play at a par 72 and 7457 yards so look for the big hitters to have the advantage. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Ovilgy finish close to the top of the leaderboard again this year. He has 2 victories already this year and hasn’t finished outside of the top 32 yet this year. Davis Love III has to take home the victory this week to qualify for the Masters next week, good luck. Last year DL3 finished T26/-5. And the picks…

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redstone-golf-club

Redstone is a pretty new course and serves as the final tuneup before Augusta.  You know?  It’s not a half bad practice track either as it’s ANGC long at 7,457 yards from the tips with tree-lined fairways and greens that are usually rolling as smooth as a baby’s butt.  Whether it’s the last event before the Masters or quality of the course as a real preparation, the Shell Houston Open is now a legitimately strong event drawing most of the top pros including Phil, Sergio, Vijay, Rory, AK and Adam Scott amongst others like Charles Howell III and Davis Love III who are trying to get their way into the event they both hold dear.

There are two holes in particular that stand out as true challenges, No. 11 and No. 18.  It’s most likely going to be a scoring bonanza and these holes are crucial to navigate without doing any serious damage.

No. 11 is a medium-long par 4 with water all along the right side of both the fairway and green.  This hole’s difficulty is evident right off the bat as it’s one of the most indimidating tee shots these guys will have faced so far this year.  With water on the right and a fairway bunker on the left, right at the optimum landing spot for a big drive, the landing zone is small, and if the course is dry, which it typically is, the fairways will be fast and you could roll into the bunker even if you hit a great drive. (more…)

tigerphil

We have quite the dilema on our hands right now.  We now have six premier events to judge the season on and things are finally getting clearer and there’s maybe a dozen players that have really seperated themselves from the rest of the bunch and it’s about damn time.

So…Bay Hill was exciting, wasn’t it?  Yea, sure was.  So what do we get for a follow up to rusty Tiger’s theft of a win?  Phil, Sergio and Adam Scott at a birdiefest.  Nice.

I’m not going to lie, the top spot was a difficult decision, so check out the full rankings to see the explanation…

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