We have just two more weeks before the true PGA Tour offseason kicks in.
This week, the Tour heads to Houston for the Cadence Bank Houston Open. Next week, it's off to Sea Island for The RSM Classic before the Thanksgiving break.
Let's dig into the course, the key stats, the win simulations, and the best bets of the week.
You can jump ahead to any specific section of the piece you would like.
Course Information and Key Stats
Golfers With Great Course History
Daily Fantasy Picks
Memorial Park Golf Course Info & Key Stats
Distance: 7,412 (long: ~210 yards longer than the average par 70)
Fairway Width: 31.4 yards (32nd of 80 qualified courses)
Average Green Size: 7,000 square feet (~115% the PGA average)
Green Type: Bermuda
Past 5 Winning Scores: -10, -13
Past 5 Cut Lines: +1, +3
Key Stats (in Order of Importance): Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, Strokes Gained: Around the Green, Bogey Avoidance, Adjusted Strokes Gained
Unlike with a lot of the fall season events, the Houston Open at Memorial Park has played a bit tough relative to par. We've seen two over-par cutlines and winning scores between -10 and -13 in the two years Memorial Park has hosted this event.
It's not a huge sample of events at this course (just two years), so we're still extrapolating what works best here. Keep that in mind. The two winners -- Carlos Ortiz and Jason Kokrak -- are no longer with the PGA Tour, and they have pretty different playstyles anyway.
Often, par 5s are gettable for PGA Tour players, but at Memorial Park, the three par 5s play as the fifth-toughest among ShotLink courses.
It's also tough to gain strokes around the green here, and those who are able to do it can separate from the field. That's why it's a key stat this week.
Golfers With Great Course/Event History
The best strokes gained averages among golfers who have played here over the past two years:
- Hideki Matsuyama (+3.41: DNP in 2022, 2nd in 2021)
- Joel Dahmen (+2.35: 5th, DNP)
- Sam Burns (+2.25: 7th, 7th)
- Robert Streb (+2.10: 7th, DNP)
- Adam Long (+2.00: 11th, 11th)
- Scottie Scheffler (+1.88: 2nd, 32nd)
- Sepp Straka (+1.68: cut, 5th)
- Russell Henley (+1.63: 7th, 29th)
- Mackenzie Hughes (+1.63: 29th, 7th)
- Aaron Wise (+1.63: 26th, 11th)
- Alex Smalley (+1.60: 15th)
- Vincent Whaley (+1.60: 15th)
- Maverick McNealy (+1.50: 19th, 20th)
- Kevin Tway (+1.50: 2nd, cut)
Neither of the two winners at Memorial Park (Carlos Ortiz and Jason Kokrak) is with the PGA Tour.
Win Simulations for the Cadence Bank Houston Open
Here are the most likely winners this week, according to my win simulation model, as well as their golf betting odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Win Simulation Analysis and Best Bets for the Cadence Bank Houston Open
The model is, once again, big on Scottie Scheffler but thinks he should be closer to +700 than +550. At such a small return, I think I'll be looking elsewhere in terms of starting my card.
Where I can look is to Tony Finau (+1600). My model is showing slight value on Finau to pick up a third win since July.
Taylor Montgomery (+2700) and Keith Mitchell (+6000) are next up in terms of guys showing to be fair or positive values. It's tough out there with Scheffler taking up 12.6% of the odds but being a bit overvalued.
Brendan Steele (+8000) and Adam Hadwin (+6500) are slight targets, as well, but both have issues -- short game for Steele and pure upside for Hadwin.
So, I'll be looking to go to Finau, Montgomery, and Mitchell for outrights.
The best top-10 values in my model: Mitchell (+600), Montgomery (+320), Beau Hossler (+1100), Hadwin (+650), Steele (+800), and Sebastian Munoz (+600).
First-round leader values include Montgomery (+4200), Lee Hodges (+8000), Hossler (+9500), Stephan Jaeger (+9500), and Will Gordon (+7500).
Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Cadence Bank Houston Open
All stats cited below originate at datagolf and reference ranks relative to the field over the past 50 rounds. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds when possible -- unless noted. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.
Best of the Best
Scottie Scheffler (FanDuel Salary: $12,000 | Golf betting odds: +550) - The odds for Scheffler last week were +950. They're +550 this week, and he's accounting for over 12% of the win equity in my simulation model. Scheffler was 32nd here in 2021 and runner-up last year. Scheffler shot up the leaderboard over the weekend last week at Mayakoba to finish T3. Scheffler leads the field in both strokes gained: off the tee and in strokes gained: approach over the past 50 rounds while sitting top-30 in both distance and accuracy off the tee. That's a stellar start, and the putting can only go up (88th) from here. We don't have ShotLink data from last week, but Scheffler did rank 12th in putts per green in regulation.
Tony Finau ($11,600 | +1600) - We'll have to overlook a missed cut from last week to like Finau, but we can definitely do that. A two-round sample isn't predictive of anything when we know who Finau is long-term. Who is he? He's top-10 in all four strokes gained: stats among this field over the last 50 rounds. Finau finished T24 here in the 2021 season and missed the cut last year while tanking on the greens. Finau has gained strokes in all three tee-to-green areas in both starts at Memorial Park, though. He and Scheffler are in a tier of their own this week.
Others to Consider:
Taylor Montgomery ($11,000 | +2700) - Hard to prioritize with three big studs at the top of the field (Scheffler, Finau, Sam Burns) but has a short-game that won't cool down.
Denny McCarthy ($10,800 | +3700) - Not a great course fit, but that doesn't matter a ton this week; undervalued based on long-term form.
Emiliano Grillo ($10,300 | +4200) - Really on the upswing with the putter (37th) and 11th in T2G.
Taylor Pendrith ($9,800 | +4100) - Pendrith ranks 4th in the field in strokes gained: tee to green and is top-20 in both off-the-tee (3rd) and approach (18th). Distance can help at any course, and Pendrith has it (seventh). He shouldn't catch much popularity because the recent form isn't anything great: T44 at the Shriners and T67 at the Fortinet with a missed cut at Houston last year. Pendrith's form is at its peak, however, and he should have a five-digit salary in this field.
Keith Mitchell ($9,500 | +6000) - Mitchell has the best long-term form in my model over the past year among those in the $9,000 range. Mitchell is a plus off the tee in both distance and accuracy, and that'll help overcome 76th-ranked irons. He's not a flawless player, but the field does really drop off around here. He's coming off of a missed cut last week and hasn't finished better than T40 in his other two events. It's possible the form is gone, yet if that's just a small-sample blip, then Mitchell will prove under-salaried.
Others to Consider:
Andrew Putnam ($9,700 | +6000) - Short off the tee but 3rd in strokes gained: approach through putting.
Will Gordon ($9,300 | +5000) - 10th in ball-striking; T3 last week; T38 at Houston in 2021.
Sebastian Munoz ($9,100 | +6000) - The results aren't there but 15th in T2G.
Brendan Steele ($8,900 | +8000) - Steele isn't without his issues. His combined short-game ranks 109th among the field. The ball-striking? It's second, including ranking top-four in both of those stats. Steele most recently finished T18 at THE CJ CUP and T40 at the ZOZO. The putting can and does lead to missed cuts, but if you're seeking ceiling, then Steele has it, too.
Robby Shelton ($7,400 | +10000) - I think there are better outright plays than Shelton in the value range but not necessarily better plays at salary. Shelton missed the cut in Houston in 2021 at Memorial Park, and he also missed the cut at Mayakoba last week. However, he was T23 at Bermuda, T15 at Shriners, T61 at Sanderson Farms, and T21 at the Fortinet. Shelton is a viable 34th in approach and is 11th in combined short game.
Others to Consider:
Davis Thompson ($8,900 | +6500) - A bet on T2G play, specifically driving ability.
Gary Woodland ($8,700 | +6500) - Top-10 ball-striker but short game isn't there right now. With an uptick, can be elite versus this field.
Mark Hubbard ($8,500 | +11000) - Good made cut odds in my model for the salary; strong iron player.