I always confuse this event with the Honda Classic. Is it because I think of Honda’s driving in Houston (fueled by Shell’s V-Power) ? Maybe. However, more recently, I think of AK finishing 2nd at the Honda Classic last year, then winning the Shell Houston Open. Who finished 2nd at the Honda Classic this year? Y.E. Yang.
In 2009, who finished 2nd in the Honda Classic? John Rollins. Then he finished T52 at the Shell Houston Open. Beware of the curse.
This Masters warm up has been a back-to-back Nike won event. Last year by Paul Casey (not playing this year) and most recently Anthony Kim.
This is Event 13 (first event of Month 4) of the NG Nation Fantasy Four Contest and it’s never too late to join, as there are monthly and season prizes.
For a refresher on the rules, hit the link — Contest Guidelines and leave your Fantasy Four below (don’t forget your ONE Nike Athlete).
To see the standings up to this point and how everyone picked last week, click here
AK is our defending champion this week and also had a T26 in ’09 and a T5 in ’07. Having history at a course generally helps AK. Also, AK dominates at the Masters so this is a good warm-up for him. He started the year well with 3 straight Top 20’s, but had a 60th at the WGC Cadillac. However, blame that on an opening round 80. I like his chances this week and I like them even more at Augusta.
Charl finished T3 here last year and has been having a great year this year starting in Europe. However, since crossing the pond he’s still put up 3 Top 25’s. Last week at the API, he finished T47, but that was because of a shaky opening round. He finished strong though.
G’Lover has a bunch of starts here, most notable a T7 in ’05, T14 in ’08, T21 in ’06 and T29 in ’04. He’s coming off of a well rested T20 at the Transitions where he had rounds of 64 and 69.
JLeo has a nice record here, even in recent times. T25 last year, T19 in ’09, T6 in ’02. Not too bad. Let’s see if he can keep a Top 25 streak going. Missed the cut at the API, but had back-to-back Top 20’s before that.
other Nike athletes to choose from ::Francesco Molinari, Jamie Lovemark, Kevin Kisner and Jhonattan Vegas
recent finishes – 5th WGC Caddy, T17 Honda, 3rd Match Play
Kuchar is always hot. Throw in a T8 last year with a bunch of missed cuts from ’03-’07 and I’m calling for Kuchar’s first win of the season. Count it!
recent finishes – T12 API, T28 WGC Caddy, 1st Northern Trust
I like Badds’ last two finishes. He put up a quiet 69 on Sunday afternoon and he’s looking all right. Finished 50th last year and 14th in ’08.
recent finishes – T6 API, T14 Honda, 2nd Mayakoba, T12 Northern Trust, T4 AT&T PB
Sure, he shot a 76 on Sunday, but that was his 3rd Top 10 in 6 starts. He’s only missed one cut all year and is averaging 14th place in his last 6 events. That’s hot. 44th here last year.
recent finishes – T9 API, T14 Puerto Rico, T29 Honda, T19, Mayakoba
Very quiet Top 10 last week. He’s on a consistent stretch here and even had a T22 here last year and a T39 in ’08. Looking good. Big sleeper!
looking at 2002-2010
best finishes – 1st in ’03, 3rd in ’09, 4th in ‘08
6 starts here since 2002 resulted in 3 Top 10’s and 4 Top 25’s. Not too bad. I’m very impressed by the ’09 and ’08 finishes, also had a T55 last year. He’s coming off of a T7 at the Northern Trust Open.
best finishes – 1st in ’06, 2nd in ’07 and ‘03
Averaging 17th place here in 6 starts. 23rd in ’08, 31st in ’09 and 44th last year. Definitely trending the wrong way, but I’m sure he’ll make the cut.
best finishes – 8th in ’10, T11 in ‘09
Those last two finishes are nice. Westwood has got to break though at some point. Coming off of a T18 at the WGC Caddy.
best finishes – 11th in ’04, 14th in ’07, 21st in ‘03
This is kind of a joke, but he has a good record. He’s had 5 starts here and missed 1 cut. In the 4 made cuts, he’s averaging 19th. Just thought I’d point out someone out of the norm.
Alan :: Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Lucas Glover
Bob :: Ben Crane, Steve Marino, Francesco Molinari and Anthony Kim
Damian :: Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker and Lucas Glover
It’s tough not to take Francesco Molinari here. I actually think he has a solid chance to win. He can win anywhere and is just a machine. I also really like Westwood, but there’s something tricky.
I think the most popular Fantasy Four will be :: Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari.
Other big names in the field :: Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Robert Karlsson, Louis Oostuizen, Y.E. Yang, Padraig Harrington, Ben Crane, Ross Fisher, Steve Marino, J.B. Holmes, Robert Allenby
Check out the full field here >> Shell Houston Open
Leave your Fantasy Four in a comment below.
Remember, you have to pick at least ONE Nike Golfer and have your picks in by WEDNESDAY at Midnight (PST).
It is also your responsibility to sub your player if they WD before the deadline.