2021 Houston Open Odds: Golfers To Watch

Written By FairwayJay on November 8, 2021 - Last Updated on November 10, 2021
2021 houston open odds

The Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open is the second-to-last event on the PGA TOUR schedule for 2021. Last week’s Mayakoba Championship runner-up Carlos Ortiz returns as the defending champ for the 74th edition of the Houston Open. He is not among the top favorites though in 2021 Houston Open odds.

Ortiz will have to contend with a very solid field which includes 14 major champions led by Brooks Koepka, who helped shape and redesign the Memorial Park Golf Course.

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2021 Houston Open Odds

For full golf betting and 2021 Houston Open odds, as well as other offerings and props, visit DraftKings SportsbookFanDuel SportsbookBetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook.

Notable Golfers in the Houston Open

Seventeen of the top-30 players on the FedExCup standings tee it up in Houston, including current leaders Sam Burns and Sungjae Im. Burns won the Sanderson Farms Championship to start October and Im won the Shriners Children’s Open the following week in Las Vegas.

Last year Burns held the third-round lead in the Houston Open before shooting 2-over-par in the final round to finish T7. Carlos Ortiz (-13) won the event by two shots over Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama while Brooks Koepka (-8) finished T5.

Top players in the Official World Golf Rankings

  • Tony Finau (12)
  • Brooks Koepka (15)
  • Sam Burns (18)
  • Tyrrell Hatton (19)
  • Scottie Scheffler (21)
  • Cameron Smith (22)
  • Patrick Reed (23)
  • Sungjae Im (24)
  • Jason Kokrak (29)
  • Joaquin Niemann (30)
  • Matthew Wolff (31)
  • Max Homa (33)
  • Marc Leishman (35)
  • Lee Westwood (37)
  • Adam Scott (40)
  • Shane Lowry (42)
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout (45)
  • Stewart Cink (48)
  • Carlos Ortiz (49)
  • Mackenzie Hughes (50)

Top players in the current FedEx Cup Standings

  • Sam Burns (1)
  • Sungjae Im (2)
  • Max Homa (5)
  • Lucas Herbert (6)
  • Matthew Wolff (8)
  • Maverick McNealy (9)
  • Cameron Tringale (11)
  • Talor Gooch (12)
  • Carlos Ortiz (13)
  • Nick Watney (16)
  • Marc Leishman (17)
  • Aaron Wise (18)
  • Patrick Reed (20)
  • Andrew Landry (25)
  • Scott Stallings (26)
  • Adam Schenk (29)
  • Lanto Griffin (30)

Course and Tournament Info

  • Course: Memorial Park Golf Course
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Date: Nov. 11-14, 2021
  • Par: 70 / 7,412 yards
  • Fairways/Rough: Bermudagrass
  • Greens: Bermudagrass
  • Purse: $7.5 Million / Winner $1.3 Million
  • TV: Golf Channel
  • Twitter: @HouOpenGolf

Last year’s event was played a week before The Masters, and this will be the second time the recently renovated Memorial Park Golf Course hosts the Houston Open. The Tom Doak redesign is influenced by his study of links courses overseas. Brooks Koepka served as player consultant of the redesign and renovation project, and the course now has just 17 sand bunkers with water in play on four holes. Many previous sand traps are now steep slopes covered in short grass, and areas around the green complexes are mowed shorter with tight grass slopes, contours and runoff areas.

The tricky, undulated greens and runoff areas that repel more golf shots proved to be difficult in last year’s first PGA TOUR event at Memorial Park. Some greens are raised and canted, and the character, undulation and speed of the larger-than-average greens (7,000 square feet) make it more difficult to get shots closer to the pins.

Changes since last year’s event include renovating No. 9 green complex and adding 750 square feet to No. 2 green.

The stunning signature par-3 at No. 2 plays over a ravine to a well-defended and tiered green. That showpiece prepares players for the task and greens ahead; however No. 2 and the par-5 at No. 3 are two of the easiest scoring holes from last year’s event. The toughest holes are the par-4s at No. 14 and No. 1, which both stretch beyond 520 yards and yielded birdies at just a 7% rate last year and more than 30% of the players made bogey on those two holes. Three par-3s play to more than 200 yards, and all three ranked among the nine toughest holes on the course last year with an average bogey rate of 20%.

There are plenty of risk-reward options on the back nine, and the par-5 at No. 16 and short par-4 at No. 17 are located across a lake from each other and offer eagle opportunities but also feature peninsular greens that jut out into water. The finishing hole at No. 18 is just over 500 yards with an unusual turtleback fairway. It played as the third-toughest scoring hole last year, and players will be forced to play more defensive than aggressive and the green is surrounded by three green-side bunkers – most on the golf course.

Tom Doak also designed the Renaissance Club, which plays firm and fast and has hosted the Scottish Open the last 3 years. That course can be more prone to the elements, but players in the Houston Open who had success in the 2020 Scottish Open include English winner Aaron Rai, and top 10 finishers Lucas Herbert, Ian Poulter and Eric van Rooyen.  

Key Stats

White stats provide a base point to reference and review each week, and help form each week’s power rankings at TheLines, the scoring conditions toughen at Memorial Park. That puts more emphasis on players with a skilled all-around game.

Looking at last year’s Strokes Gained stats at Memorial Park, Carlos Ortiz won and led the field in Strokes Gained: Total, Short Game and was No. 2 in Around the Green and top five in Putting. Returning players Talor Gooch, Brooks Koepka, Mackenzie Hughes, Russell Knox, Jason Day and Scottie Scheffler were leaders in SG: Short Game, so look towards players with stronger short games and ability to chip and putt.

Along with more difficult scoring conditions, look towards a mix of these key stats in addition to total strokes gained at Memorial Park.

  • SG: Approach
  • SG: Short Game
  • SG: Off-the-Tee and Distance

Over golfers last 50 rounds, players in the field that ranked highest in Putting on fast, bermuda greens according to stats at Fantasy National include:

  • Sam Burns
  • Denny McCarthy
  • J.T. Poston
  • Brian Harman
  • Ian Poulter
  • Jason Day
  • Brooks Koepka
  • Branden Grace
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout
  • Wyndham Clark
  • Scott Stallings
  • Chesson Hadley
  • Peter Malnati
  • Max Homa
  • Peter Uihlein
  • Patrick Reed

Most recent par-3 efficiency leaders from 200-225 yards include:

  • Sepp Straka
  • Branden Grace
  • Scott Stallings
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout
  • Zach Johnson
  • Stewart Cink
  • Aaron Wise

Stallings and Straka are the proximity to hole leaders from 200 yards or longer.

Golfers To Watch

Sungjae Im ()

Im is in strong form with a win and top-10 finish last month. His best two Strokes Gained stats on this course last year were Putting and Short Game, and his Tee-to-Green game, Ball Striking and top 3 ranking in Total strokes gained over his last 36 rounds shows he’s really in a great groove. On a comp course of PGA National for the Honda Classic, which is a tough par 70 with Bermuda greens, Im finished top 10 this year and won the event in 2020. He should be a major player this time around.

Adam Scott ()

Scott is in very solid form, ranking top 10 in Strokes Gained: Putting, Approach and Total against this field over his last 36 rounds with solid Ball Striking, Short Game stats and performance as well. Scott also joins Sungjae Im with a top-six ranking in this field for proximity to the hole from 200+ yards over his last 36 rounds. The Aussie was sitting top 10 in this event through 36 holes last year when he entered with little form or tournaments to his credit through COVID. The 41-year-old still hits it long off the tee which will be a benefit this week, and his driving distance and greens in regulation currently both rank top 15 on TOUR. Scott was top 10 in approach play on this course last year, and a top 10 finish () this year is well within range. Scott is also to be top 5 after Round 1.

Russell Henley ()

Henley has excelled on par-70 courses. In fact, he’s gained strokes in all 13 starts on those par-70s that exceed 7,250 yards. He hits it so good, and his Ball Striking, Approach and Tee-to-Green game were all top 15 in this field in last year’s event at Memorial Park. Henley ranks No. 2 in proximity to the hole from all yardages over his last 36 rounds, and he’ll be giving himself plenty of good looks at birdie this week. Value and victory within range for a player ranked top three in Greens in Regulation and just so happened to finish in 3rd place in the Honda Classic this year on the comp course at PGA National where his putting and total strokes gained were superb. Henley is to be in the top 5 after Round 1.

Denny McCarthy ()

A bomb and value with McCarthy, who is one of the top short game specialists on TOUR and elite, premier putter. He’s a short hitter which won’t help at Memorial Park, but his top-20 ranking in Greens in Regulation tells you he’s keeping the ball in play and hitting irons well enough. A top-three finish at PGA National this year on a comp course makes him a big longshot to consider. Top 20 at or top 10 at for bettors looking for a longshot who really excels on and around the greens.

Roger Sloan ()

Canadian Roger Sloan won’t make many betting cards this week, and his recent results offer nothing. But in August he had his best run of play with a top 10 and best-ever T2 at Wyndham. His strokes gained stats are not as bad as his recent results, and his strengths are Around the Green, Ball Striking and Scrambling. The Texas El Paso golfer had a top 25 finish in the Honda this year, and better play is coming to outperform these odds and a potential top 20 finish at .

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FairwayJay is a leading national sports and gaming analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful professionals. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, gaming and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. He's been a regular featured guest on sports and gaming radio shows, podcasts and produces sports betting and related industry articles and content for various sites and sources.

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