The TOUR heads back stateside this week for one of the final events of the calendar year and the last one, which will be held on one course. The Houston Open is set to tee it up this week at Memorial Park Golf Course for the second rendition of this event at this track.
Carlos Ortiz won the first tournament held on this course as he went 13-under par on the week to beat out some big names in Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Brooks Koepka. Unfortunately, he will not get to defend his first TOUR win this week as he had to withdraw due to a shoulder injury. Koepka will tee it up this week and really headlines a solid field of players here in Texas.
The DFS perspective is really interesting this week as we have a number of players that, on paper, are a really good fit for this course, but none that stand out as fully separating themselves from the rest of the field. I will be leaning heavily on ownership projections and price, especially at the top, as I think we are simply splitting hairs in picking the spots to start our lineups this week.
As always, we have you covered in a bunch of ways through Fantasy Labs and Action Network for the Houston Open. I always start my week with Matt Vincenzi’s stats and course fit article. Landon Silinsky also provides a great cash game write-up that helps to establish a good core for the week. Then, we have our staff’s best bets and props, which can give good insight for both betting and DFS.
Now, let’s get into the picks for the week as we look to take down the $100,000 top prize in the DraftKings $15 Flop Shot.
Tyrrell Hatton $10,000
I really like how everything is lining up for Tyrrell Hatton this week. He is always a good fit on a course that appears to be set for a grind in firm and fast conditions. He has the perfect combination of elite approach and short game play when he is at his best, but we also get a great scenario for him in GPPs.
Hatton rates out as the second-best top-end play in the CSURAM88 Model on FantasyLabs and does it while falling between 10-15% ownership. He is lining up to be less chalky than a majority of the players in the five-figure range, and with the lowest price tag, he is a perfect place for me to start my lineups and pair him with my next play.
Patrick Reed $9,000
This is where I am in the biggest disagreement with the CSURAM88 Model, which has Reed way down the board, while I have him as my best bet of the week. I’ll also take a stab in DFS, where he is projecting to be short of double-digit ownership and give me added leverage with winning upside.
Reed is similar to Hatton for me this week where his short game will be a big factor and can separate him from the rest of the field. I’m putting a lot of my eggs in this basket, which will give me a shot at big upside or basically nothing at all.
Seamus Power $8,400
This Irishman is the guy that was the last cutoff of my betting card, so I am excited to see that I can get him at a bit of a discount versus the others in DFS. He has been playing great golf during the swing season and lines up to be a great course fit this week in Houston. Power ranks inside of the top 20 in this field over the last six months in all Strokes Gained metrics except for Strokes Gained: Off the Tee which is the least important of the bunch at this course. I think it may be a stretch to see him winning this event, but he certainly has top-5 upside which will be of great value at this middling price.
Harold Varner $7,700
HV3 rates out well this week in the CSURAM88 Model, as he looks to bounce back from a surprising missed cut at the Mayakoba. I am hopeful that the MC last week will turn some others away, as I see it more as a blip in what has otherwise been a solid fall swing.
Varner carried over his strong play to close the end of last season into the fall with two top-16 finishes, and a T32 at the CJ Cup. He also brings some course history into Houston this week after he finished T15 on this course last year. I really like the fit and scoring ability for HV3 to pay off this price tag.
Chad Ramey $7,500
Possibly the best Korn Ferry Tour graduate of the fall has been Chad Ramey. He may not have the top finishes of a couple of other graduates, but he has been consistently improving each week. He comes into Houston off of back-to-back top-17 finishes and three-straight made cuts. I was really surprised but excited to see how well he rated out in Peter Jennings’ Model this week, really standing out above all others in this range. Ramey makes for a great GPP play this week as he remains under the radar overall, but all of the signs are there for continued results.
Charley Hoffman $7,300
Look, Charley Hoffman in Texas is a real thing. He always seems to perform well in the Lone Star State, but his price this week is not indicative of those results. He also won’t sneak in under the radar as he is projecting to be chalk, however with the way I am building up top and pivoting away from ownership with Hatton and Reed, I can afford to eat what I see as good chalk on Hoffman in the lower price tier.
Luke List $6,900
I am building in a way this week that I don’t anticipate needing to go this low very much, but if I want to jam in a third high-priced player then I would look first to Luke List. His putter is always the concern, but he is actually quite good around the greens and a great player with mid to long irons. These factors fit really well for the course this week in Houston, and for that reason, I’d be willing to take a gamble that I get good putting variance with List.
Denny McCarthy $6,600
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum from List is Denny McCarthy. He is a guy that I can comfortably say is going to putt well, and we just have to hope he has some sharp iron play. He is showing signs that he may have his entire game, fresh off a top-15 finish in Mexico, and that is enough for me at this price point to buy in on Denny to help me pay up in other spots of my lineup.