arlos Ortiz will defend in Houston, one of the PGA TOUR’s longest-running host cities, after starting the weekend in contention at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba.
This year’s Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open will have a field that includes some of the game’s finest players.
- FIELD NOTES: Brooks Koepka will return to Houston – and the course he helped shape – to reclaim his form after missing the cut in Mexico… In the Houston field, Koepka is joined by 13 other major champions… Matthew Wolff, who led by 36 holes in Mexico, is about to tee it up…In the past, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Ortiz (for the first time defending a TOUR title), Lanto Griffin, Russell Henley, and Ian Poulter are the last four Houston Open champions on the tee… After coming second in the World Wide Technology Championship. last week, Scottie Scheffler, a Texas native and part of the United States Ryder Cup team, is in the field… Defending champion Adam Scott has returned to action following a fifth-place finish at THE CJ CUP AT SUMMIT… Cameron Sisk, MJ Daffue and Shawn Stefani, and Brooks Koepka’s younger brother, Chase Koepka, have all received waivers…. Sisk won the Maridoe Intercollegiate to secure his spot. In the PGA TOUR University rankings, he is ranked 18th. Sisk has finished in the top five in each of his three appearances this season, including a win and a runner-up finish.
- FEDEXCUP: The winner of this competition will receive 500 FedExCup points.
- COURSE: Memorial Park Golf Course (7,412 yards, par 70). Before returning to the PGA TOUR after a nearly six-decade hiatus, this municipal course received a major refurbishment by renowned architect Tom Doak, with Brooks Koepka’s input. The holes were trimmed and lengthened, and trees were removed in preparation for the TOUR’s comeback. The course is a second-shot golf course with smart bunkering and unusual green contours with spectacular short-grass runoffs.
- STORYLINES: The Houston stop is the PGA TOUR’s penultimate event in 2021… With only one more event after Houston, this is a great opportunity for many to gain FedExCup points. Sixteen of the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings (as of Nov. 6) will compete in Houston, including leader Sam Burns. Former FedExCup champions Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker, and Henrik Stenson are all expected to compete…. Ortiz is attempting to become the first player since Vijay Singh in 2004-05 to defend his championship in Houston… After 23 playoffs in 74 editions of the tournament, which is second most in TOUR history behind the United States, the event hasn’t featured a playoff in Houston since 2018… Open.
- Curtis Strange and Lee Trevino (1980 at Woodlands CC), Vijay Singh, _72-HOLE RECORD: 266 (2002 at TPC Woodlands). Russell Henley (2011), Phil Mickelson (2011), Golf Club of Houston record: 268. (2017).
Carlos Ortiz holds the Memorial Park Golf Course record with a score of 267. (2020)
- Johnson Wagner (1st round, 2008), Adam Scott (1st round, 2008), Jimmy Walker (1st round, 2011), Phil Mickelson (3rd round, 2011), Scott Piercy (1st round, 2015), Sung Kang (1st round, 2015) have all shot 63 at the Golf Club of Houston (2nd round, 2017).
Hideki Matsuyama (4th round, 2020), Talor Gooch set the Memorial Park Golf Course record with a 63. (4th round, 2020)
- _LAST TIME: After a final-round 65 in Houston, Carlos Ortiz won on the PGA TOUR for the first time (after winning three times on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2014). He became the first Mexican player to win on the PGA TOUR in 42 years. Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama went on to win the next two Masters after tied for second. Johnson won the one-of-a-kind November Masters the following week, while Matsuyama won the tournament’s return to its regular April schedule… A 20-foot birdie putt by Ortiz on the 72nd hole was enough to give him the victory. Both Matsuyama and Johnson finished two strokes behind leader Ortiz in a tie for second place. Brooks Koepka and Sepp Straka completed the top five in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Koepka redesigned Memorial Park Golf Course, the venue for this year’s tournament. Tickets for the 2020 Houston Open, the first PGA Tour event in the United States to admit spectators since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, were sold out every single day.