Picking winners is easy, right? Well, at least it seems that way based on the run that we have had in this space over the last four events: Keegan Bradley (win Zozo), Rory McIlroy (win CJ Cup), Ben Griffin (held multi-shot lead on the back nine in the final round at Bermuda) and Russell Henley (win Mayakoba). So let’s do the impossible and continue the streak.
This week the PGA Tour heads to Memorial Park in Houston for the Cadence Bank Houston Open. This will be the third edition held at Memorial Park, which is a par-70 that features significantly contoured Bermuda greens. The formula for success here involves striking your irons well from outside 150 yards and putting above average. Players who strike the ball well will have much easier putts for birdie on those contoured greens, and will avoid the difficult up-and-downs that confront many players who miss those putting surfaces.. Let’s take a look at three players who fit that mold:
Tony Finau $10,400
Finau ranks first overall in my model this week largely because he ranks first in approach from 150-plus yards, first in birdies, third Off the Tee, eighth around the green, and 13th in putting. Finau has had a great 2022 with two wins and two runners-up. This is a decent buy-low spot after his missed cut last week at Mayakoba.
Aaron Wise $9,900
Wise has finished 26th and 11th in two appearances at Memorial Park. He ranks third in approach from 150-plus yards, 12th in birdies, 10th Off the Tee, and 15th in putting. He comes into this event finishing in the top 15 in four of his last five starts, including last week at Mayakoba. Wise is one of the players I look to make the next leap forward in the 2022-23 season.
Justin Lower $7,400
Lower has been a consistent surprise achiever on Tour, making the cut in his last nine events, resulting in seven top-36 finishes. While Lower struggles off the tee and around the green, he is dynamite on approach from 150-plus yards (5th) and putting (6th). He makes for a great cheaper option this week that allows you to buy up for players like Finau and Wise.