Shell Houston Open Tournament Notes 2014

imageDates: March 31–April 6, 2014
Where: Golf Club of Houston, Humble, Texas
Par/Yards: 36-36—72/7,441 yards
Field: 156
2013 champion: D.A. Points
Purse: $6,400,000 ($1,152,000 to the winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Facebook: TheShellHoustonOpen
Twitter: @shellhouopen

D.A. Points at the 2013 Shell Houston Open

  • Having missed seven cuts in his previous eight starts coming into last year’s Shell Houston Open, D.A. Points wasn’t exactly riding a wave of momentum.
  • After opening with an 8-under 64, however, things changed quickly.
  • Points followed the 64 with a final-round 66 to overcome a 1-stroke deficit in the final round and claim his second career PGA TOUR victory.
  • His first win on TOUR came at the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. With his win in Houston, Points claimed the second-to-last “win-and-you’re-in” invitation to the Masters Tournament two weeks later (T38).
  • His victory also extended the streak of consecutive American winners on TOUR in 2013 to 14, surpassing the run of 13 straight winners from the United States in 1989.More on D.A. Points
  • With his win in Houston last year, Points jumped all the way from No. 200 to 19 in FedExCup standings.
  • Three weeks after the victory, he finished runner-up at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, vaulting him to No. 7 in the standings.
  • As a result, Points would make it through all four FedExCup Playoffs events, highlighted by a T6 finish at The Barclays. He would finish the season ranked 30th in the standings.
  • With 11 starts so far this season under his belt, Points returns to Houston in search of his first top-10 finish since his T6 at The Barclays in 2013.
  • As he did last year, Points returns to The Golf Club of Houston this week on the heels of consecutive missed cuts (Valspar Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard).
  • Notes on the field
    • Twenty-two major champions, with a collective 34 major championship titles.
    • Six past Shell Houston Open winners; D.A. Points (2013), Hunter Mahan (2012), Phil Mickelson (2011), Paul Casey (2009), Johnson Wagner (2008), Stuart Appleby (1999, 2006).
    • Forty-two time PGA TOUR winner and World Golf Hall of Fame Member Phil Mickelson is poised to make his 10th Shell Houston Open start, and seventh consecutive. In addition to his 2011 win, Mickelson added a T4 finish in 2012.
      • Among his 42 TOUR wins are four from the state of Texas (1996 HP Byron Nelson Championship, 2000/2008 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and 2011 Shell Houston Open).
      • Mickelson’s most recent win on TOUR is the 2013 Open Championship, his fifth major championship title.
      • Mickelson withdrew from last week’s Valero Texas Open after the first hole of the third round with a pulled muscle. “My back’s feeling great, my body’s been feeling great. I felt as good as I have all year. My speed is back, I was hitting the ball hard, driving it great. I pulled a muscle on my downswing trying to hit the ball hard on the second hole. It just killed and it wouldn’t subside for 10 or 12 seconds. I’m going to go back to San Diego of a couple of days and have a doctor take a look at it but there’s really not much you can do for a pulled muscle. I hope I’ll be OK to play the Shell in Houston but I just don’t know.”
    • San Antonio resident Jimmy Walker, who has led the FedExCup points race for 18 of the 19 weeks thus far in 2013-14, collected his first three PGA TOUR wins ( Open, Sony Open in Hawaii, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) in just eight starts to start the season.
      • He became just the fourth player to win three times in eight or fewer starts to begin a season over the last 20 years, joining Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and David Duval.
      • Through the Valero Texas Open, the Baylor graduate leads the race for the FedExCup title with 1,922 points, 579 points ahead of Patrick Reed. Walker will be making his 10th start in the Shell Houston Open, with a T30 in 2011 his best finish.
    • 2013 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth will make his second start in this week’s Shell Houston Open. The former Texas Longhorn finished T50 last year.
      • En route to Rookie of the Year honors in 2013, Spieth collected nine top-10 finishes, three runner-ups and his first PGA TOUR win (John Deere Classic).
      • Spieth followed appearances in all four FedExCup Playoffs events with a Captain’s pick spot on the Presidents Cup Team, where he went 2-2-0. So far this season, Spieth has collected four top-10 finishes in 10 starts, including a 10th-place finish at last week’s Valero Texas Open.
    • Rory McIlroy will make his fourth start in this year’s Shell Houston Open, with a best finish of T19 in 2009.
      • McIlroy missed the cut in 2010 and finished T45 last year.
      • McIlroy will be making his fifth start of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season, with his best finish being a playoff loss to Russell Henley at The Honda Classic.
    • 2013 World Golf Hall of Fame Member Ernie Els will return to The Golf Club of Houston this year for a sixth start in the event. Of his five previous starts, he collected top-20 finishes in 2003 (T17), 2009 (T14) and 2012 (T12).
      • The 19-time PGA TOUR winner makes a return to the state of Texas this week 20 years after claiming his only other Texas tournament title, the 1995 HP Byron Nelson Championship.
      • Els has made seven starts on the PGA TOUR this season, with a fourth-place finish at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship his best showing.
      • Els comes to Houston this week in search of his first win since the 2012 Open Championship; he has missed the cut in his last two starts
        (Valspar Championship, Valero Texas Open).
    • Steve Stricker, who began scaling back his playing schedule two years ago, will make just his third start of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR Season this week.
      • He previously finished T33 at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and 57th at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
      • With the exception of 2001 and 2010, Stricker has played in every Shell Houston Open, dating to 1999. He collected top-10 finishes in 2006 (3rd), 2007 (T9) and 2011 (T4).
    • The Woodlands resident Jeff Maggert became the 17th player to win his Champions Tour debut two weeks ago at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oak, edging Billy Andrade by a stroke for his first win since the 2006 FedEx St. Jude Classic.

      Tournament notes

    • This week’s Shell Houston Open winner receives, if not previously eligible, the last “win and you’re in” invitation to the Masters Tournament.
    • There are 44 players in this week’s Shell Houston Open scheduled to compete in next week’s Masters Tournament.
    • Two players have won the week prior to the Masters Tournament, and then gone on to win in Augusta – Sandy Lyle (Greater Greensboro Open) in 1988 and Phil Mickelson (BellSouth Classic) in 2006.
    • Should D.A. Points successfully defend his Shell Houston Open title, he would become just the second player in tournament history to do so. Vijay Singh achieved the feat in 2005. Should Points win at The Golf Club of Houston and then next week at the Masters, he would become the first player to win in successive weeks since Tiger Woods won the 2013 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship
      and Arnold Palmer Invitational.
    • The Shell Houston Open has had 21 playoffs—more than any event on TOUR other than the U.S. Open (32). Two of the past five champions have been decided by extra holes (Paul Casey/2009, Anthony Kim/2010).
    • Two of the past six winners of the Shell Houston Open made it their first TOUR title (Johnson
      Wagner/2008, Paul Casey/2009).Miscellaneous 2013-14 Notes
    • Through the Valero Texas Open, 17 of the 20 PGA TOUR wins have come from U.S.-born players, with the three international winners hailing from Australia (Jason Day/World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, John Senden/Valspar Championship, Steven Bowditch/Valero Texas Open).
    • With three and two wins, Jimmy Walker and Patrick Reed, respectively, are the only multiple winners while Chesson Hadley is the lone rookie to win.
    • Low final rounds for winners this year have included:
      • a 63 (Jimmy Walker/Sony Open in Hawaii)
      • a 64 (Bubba Watson/Northern Trust Open)
      • a 65 (Harris English/OHL Classic at Mayakoba).
    • Walker also posted a 2-over-par 74 in the final round to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the highest final-round score for a winner since Martin Laird’s 75 at the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
    • Through the Valero Texas Open, nine of the 17 different winners in 2013-14 have been under the age of 30:
      • Webb Simpson/Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
      • Chris Kirk/The McGladrey Classic
      • Dustin Johnson/WGC-HSBC Champions
      • Harris English/ OHL Classic at Mayakoba
      • Patrick Reed/Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation and WGC-Cadillac Championship
      • Scott Stallings/Farmers Insurance Open
      • Jason Day/World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship
      • Russell Henley/The Honda Classic and Chesson Hadley/Puerto Rico Open.
    • Seven players currently under the age of 30 have at least three PGA TOUR wins:
      • Dustin Johnson (8)
      • Rory McIlroy (6)
      • Webb Simpson (4)
      • Keegan Bradley (3)
      • Anthony Kim (3)
      • Scott Stallings (3)
      • Patrick Reed (3).

      Info Courtesy of PGA TOUR

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