Stenson worth another go in Texas
Frank Monkhouse | 30 March 2017
Our two at a price in the Shell Houston Open
Golf punters see their thinking begin to wander to next week’s US Masters at Augusta, which gets underway on Thursday 6th April, but there’s plenty to get through before then, with Thursday’s Shell Houston Open giving backers a chance to boost their betting balance in time for the big one.
This tournament also presents the top players with one final chance to sharpen their tools, meaning we have a star-studded field in attendance at the Golf Course of Houston, Texas. Click here to bet on all the action, including the outright winner.
Jordan Spieth arrives as the most likely winner, according to our traders, and punters who want to keep the pre-tournament favourite close will find him doing the rounds at 6/1 just now. We can’t really deny the talented local that label either, as he went mighty close to winning this before, losing a play-off a couple of years ago. I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off the 2015 Masters champion.
Jim Herman starts as defending champion, having returned a winning score of 15 under-par here last year. That was a pretty low effort, judging by the winners of previous outings, but he is the only player in the last three years not to have won the prizemoney courtesy of a play-off. Traders see that as freak luck however, and anyone wanting two in-a-row can have 100/1 with us.
We can rely on Stenson
Spieth looks a worthy favourite, but I wouldn’t get on at 6/1, and will instead look to pick out a lively underdog at a bit more of a price. With that in mind we have our stake money on Henrik Stenson. He let us down recently, and would’ve been available at a bigger price here had Dustin Johnston not pulled out blaming fatigue. When in the mood there’s few better to have onside though, and 40-year-old Swede has shown plenty in the past to suggest winning this isn’t beyond him.
The selection has suffered with injury of late – it remains to be seen whether he is fully over that – and he didn’t do too much to impress at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but Stenson is always my first pick when looking for a consistent player, and I expect his safety-first approach to pay-off again here.
Lefty looks right good value
Stenson won’t bomb off the tee, but that isn’t too important in Houston, instead it’ll be his ability to find the greens that will set him apart from the big-hitters of the field, and his confidence with the putter in hand will give him every chance of winning it if he remains handy in the early exchanges.
Coral are giving 12/1 on Stenson to take the title, while a top-10 finish looks nailed on to me, if he performs, with even money marked up on the board. We are, once again, setting the standard for each-way players, giving 1/5 the odds the best seven home. That means you can have a go at a bit bigger each-way, which will be Phil Mickelson at 20/1. Lefty won this in 2011, but seems to have been overlooked this time.