This year’s Vivint Houston Open will take place at the Tom Doak-renovated Memorial Park Golf Course. Relative to most PGA Tour venues, Memorial Park has wide landing areas, which will allow players to take advantage of their length off the tee. The course has minimal bunkers and other hazards, so its main defense is its quick, undulating greens and the shaved runoff areas around them.
The best players to target at the Houston Open will be those who drive the ball long, play par 5s well, and have a high birdie rate.
Dustin Johnson $11,500
You may think this is an obvious pick. I don’t care. Even though he’s the highest-priced player in the field, Dustin Johnson is also the most underpriced. DraftKings always has trouble pricing out clear top players. This week, Johnson is 7/1 to win, and the next best player is 18/1. His median results projection is 10th place. Yes, I know this is his first event back after a bout with Covid-19, but I expect him to be at full strength, and Memorial Park suits him well. He is first in birdies, third in approach, fourth in par-5 scoring, fifth off the tee, seventh in driving distance, and ninth in approach from 200+ yards. I expect him to continue the streak of five straight top-six finishes he was on before his time off.
Cameron Davis $8,100
Davis is Dustin Johnson lite this week: third in birdies, seventh in par-5 scoring, tenth in driving distance, tenth in approach from 175-200 yards, and 11th off the tee. He’s also remarkably consistent, having finished in the top 40 in 13 of his past 18 events while missing only four cuts by a combined five shots.
At this point in the year, you’ve most likely used a bunch of the top players in the Houston Open field, so I’ll toss out a couple of dark horses to consider:
This is the perfect high-upside pick this week. Burns is first in driving distance, second off the tee, 14th in birdies, and 15th in par-5 scoring. In his past 13 events, he has made nine cuts and placed in the top 40 each time. He also loves Bermuda greens like those at Memorial Park. While Burns is an above-average putter overall, he’s one of the best in the field on Bermudagrass.
In his 13 events since the restart, Ventura has made 10 cuts, and he missed those three cuts by four shots total. He is first in par-5 scoring, third in birdies, fourth in driving distance, seventh off the tee, and ninth in approach. That’s a formula for a surprise contender at the Houston Open.