Masters warmup time! This week the PGA Tour is in Houston for the Shell Houston Open. Yes it is hard not to be thinking about the Masters which is just one week from today. Many players in the field in Houston like to use the Houston Open as a final tweak session for the Masters. In fact, they even set up the host course, Redstone Golf Course, as much as they can like Augusta.
In The Field
The biggest name in the field this week in Houston is Phil Mickelson. Every year likes to play this tournament to finish up the preparation for the Masters. Phil will use the same equipment setup (as in two drivers like he did a few years ago), and hit the same shots he is imagining he'll use at the Masters, despite whether or not they're the right shots for the current hole.
Others in the field warming up for next week include Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley and crowd favorite Fred Couples. Watch for hot rookie Bud Cauley this week as well.
Redstone (the Tournament course) is quite a challenge at a par-72 of 7,457 yards. That's nearly exactly the same yardage as Augusta National. The course was designed by Rees Jones and David Toms specifically to host a Tour event. The course features wetlands filled with native plants and flowers and is lined with many pine and cypress trees.
TV (All Times Eastern Time Zone)
Thursday - 3-6PM - Golf Channel
Friday - 3-6PM - Golf Channel
Saturday - 1-3PM - Golf Channel
Saturday - 3-6PM - NBC
Sunday - 1-3PM - Golf Channel
Sunday - 3-6PM - NBC
The LPGA Tour is in Rancho Mirage, California to contest the Kraft Nabisco Championship. This is a MAJOR championship for the LPGA Tour and has been since the early 1980's. The tournament is one of the larger purses for the LPGA Tour, at $2 million.
Stacey Lewis is the returning champion.
Off This Week
The Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour are off this week.