Here we are golfers and sports fans just seven days from the first major of 2014. We have heard this week that Tiger is out due to surgery but this shouldn’t affect the tournament too much, let’s be honest his form leading up to this event wasn’t great. So we are in Humble, TX this week for the Shell Houston Open. Who will win and grab themselves an invite to the sports Garden of Eden that is Augusta National and over $1 million?
Straight off the bat I want to put forward one name that I did last week because he is just in phenomenal form. He is Jordan Spieth and although he’s yet to take a title it is just so close for the rising Texan star. Apart from his great skill as a top golfer he has a tremendous fighting spirit and bounces back from bad rounds with what seems like real ease. Last week he opened with a 75 and still took a top-10! He had a huge year last year but this one will cement him as a real name in the golfing world in my opinion.
The marquee group this week has to be that of Dustin Johnson, Luke Donald and Masters favourite Rory McIlroy. Of course any time any of these guys tee it up they have a huge chance of winning but of the three here this week I’d put DJ down as my pick. Many analysts have him down as their pick this week too. He’s been in the top-10 in every stroke-play starts he’s made this year and he finished tied for 4th at the Golf Club of Houston last year. Johnson is no stranger to a winner’s cheque so look out for him.
My third pick for the week is last year’s stand out player Henrik Stenson. The Swede still hasn’t really started firing on all cylinders yet but he has said he wants a major this year (what golfer doesn’t) so I expect him to be starting to hit form. Speaking to the PGA Tour he said that this course offers some similarities to the tests that Augusta exacts and as such is great preparation for next week. He has shown just how unstoppable he can be so if he can start to recapture this form again he is definitely a shout for this week.
It is a properly star-studded field this week in Houston. As I mentioned with regards to Stenson, these guys have been gearing their practice towards next week so will be hitting the ball so well. Short games will be almost at there sharpest in preparation for the tough test that is Augusta. I expect a very low scoring affair this week if the weather allows it. Let’s be honest though, this is all preamble, one more week folks!
Photo credit: PGATour.com