Recapping the Shell Houston Open
The story of the Shell Houston Open for many was how the odds-on favorites seemed to all sputter out of the gate to miss the cut. Hopefully, the incredible play of Russell Henley and Sung Kang isn’t lost in the shuffle, though. Sung Kang set the 36- and 54-hole records for the tournament after his impressive start on Thursday and Friday. Even with how hot Kang was playing, Henley was still able to catch him on Sunday to earn his spot in the Masters next week.
Sung Kang and Rickie Fowler seemed to be headed on a collision course as the tournament began as they jumped out to a quick start on Thursday. Kang continued his hot start on Friday but couldn’t score as well over the weekend. He gained over 9 strokes putting in rounds one and two, but actually lost strokes relative to the field on the weekend. Kang fell three strokes short in Houston. Rickie Fowler had his putting leave him in a hurry as round 3 came to a close. Fowler finished in a tie for 3rd place with Luke List.
Luke List went very low on Saturday, shooting 65 to vault himself into contention. He used his length off the tee to produce short approach shots. List capitalized on many of those short approach shots. He only had one round over 70 for the tournament.
Daniel Berger and Hudson Swafford also posted Top 10 finishes in Houston. Daniel Berger was one of the most accurate players on the week. He finished 2nd in greens in regulation and 12th in driving accuracy. Hudson Swafford was one of the best putters on the weekend. He finished 5th in cumulative distance of putts made.
Notable Missed Cuts
Jordan Spieth came out of the gates strong on Thursday, finishing his round of 69 with only two bogeys on the card. He used his ball striking and putting to start off well. Spieth hit 10-of-14 greens and average 1.64 putts per green in regulation. His game went off the rails a bit on Friday though, he only hit 50% of the fairways and 50% of the greens as he shot 77 to miss the cut by 2 strokes.
Patrick Reed also missed the cut by 2 strokes. He shot 77 on Thursday as he posted negative strokes gained in almost every category. Reed bounced back on Friday to play well and shot 69, but the damage was done on Thursday.
Adam Scott missed the cut by just one stroke but continued the theme of 77s by some of the top golfers in the field. Scott’s putter failed him on Friday as he lost nearly 4 strokes on the green alone.
Henrik Stenson was unable to get anything going all week. His struggles bounced back and forth from Thursday to Friday in all facets of the game as he shot 74-75 to miss the cut by 5 strokes. On Thursday, Stenson struggled off the tee, around the green, and putting. On Friday, he straightened out off the tee but lost strokes on approach. His putter didn’t do him any favors on Friday either.
All 4 of the notable missed cuts will be in the field for the Masters next week. Stay up to date with Masters coverage this week by following me on Twitter @MattJonesTFR. As always, you can also head over to iTunes to subscribe to Bogey Free.