The PGA Tour comes to Texas for the 2021 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open, following Viktor Hovland’s victory in Mayakoba.
Carlos Ortiz, the defending champion, will be in the lineup, as will Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau. We examine the Houston Open chances for 2021 and make our PGA Tour picks and predictions for victory.
Although the field isn’t the strongest of the year, there are still plenty of familiar names teeing it up in Houston this week. The betting favorite is Sam Burns, who is rated 14th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, while Scottie Scheffler, who is ranked 23rd, is also in the field.. The only players in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Ranking who will be competing this week are Koepka, Burns, Finau, and Tyrell Hatton.
The Houston Open will be held at Memorial Park Golf Course, a 7,412-yard par 70 course. It’s not a particularly long course, but it does necessitate superb ball-striking on the approach to the green. Last year, Ortiz set the 72-hole scoring record after four rounds with a total of 267.
Picks for the 2021 Houston Open – Tipico Sportsbook’s Favorite Odds; see the full list of USA TODAY Sports betting odds. Lines were last updated at 12:30 p.m. ET on Monday.
(+3000) Talor Gooch
Last year, Gooch finished fourth at the Houston Open after shooting a final-round 63 to close to within four strokes of eventual winner Ortiz. He’s also in great shape heading into this week, having finished in the top 11 in each of the four tournaments he’s competed in so far this season.
He doesn’t hit the fairways very well off the tee, hitting only 57.59 percent of the time, yet he ranks sixth on the tour in Strokes Gained: Sixth in SG and approaching the green: He more than makes up for his difficulties with the driver in the Around-the-Green. At +3000, he’s a fantastic buy.
Harold Varner III (+7000) is a contender at the 2021 Houston Open.
Varner missed the cut at the World Wide Technology Championship this week, but he had three top-35 results in the three events before that, including two top-16 performances. Varner gained 13 spots Sunday after a final-round 65 helped him tie for 15th at the Houston Open last year.
He’s often ignored as a mid-tier competitor, but this might be the week he finally puts it all together and wins on the PGA Tour.