After two weeks outside of the United States, the PGA TOUR travels to the Lonestar state this week for the Cadence Bank Houston Open. For the third consecutive season, this event will be played at Memorial Park Golf Course (par 70, 7,412 yards, Bermuda greens) in Houston. For the first two editions of the Houston Open at Memorial Park, Carlos Ortiz won at -13 in 2020 and Jason Korkak won last season at -10.
Memorial Park is a long and difficult parkland course that favors long hitters of the golf ball, with both Ortiz and Kokrak ranking inside the top 25 in driving distance during their wins. While the greens are on the larger side, accurate iron play will be a must at Memorial Park, as expected. During their victories at this lengthy track, both Ortiz and Korkak ranked inside the top 10 in GIR. Catching fire on these Bermuda putting surfaces will also be a primary ingredient for success at Memorial Park, with both of the winners at this Texas venue finishing the tournament top five in SGP.
With 10 par 4s, five par 3s and three par 5s, Memorial Park is a very unique par 70. At this rare setup, being efficient on the par 5s is most important, with Ortiz and Kokrak ranking first and second in SG on the par 5s, respectively, when they took home the top prize at Memorial Park. Additionally, with five par 3s on site, scoring on these shorter holes will be critical. After Ortiz ranked eighth in par-3 efficiency at Memorial Park in 2020, Kokrak led his field in the category in 2021.
Headlined by former Texas Longhorn Scottie Scheffler – who is the massive favorite to win the Houston Open this weekend at +550 on the DraftKings Sportsbook – this field features four of the top-20 ranked players in the world. Similar to last week at the World Wide Technology Championship, this is a limited field of 130 players, with a regular top-65 and ties cut taking place following the first two rounds.
Below, I have featured four of my favorite DraftKings value plays for the Houston Open, that all cost less than $7.5K.
Luke List ($7,300) – When a long course like Memorial Park is the test that awaits, targeting List is always a savvy move. The bomber ranks eighth in driving distance when we compare this field’s last 24 rounds. He finished T11 at Memorial Park last season, including an opening round 5-under 65, which tied for the third lowest score posted at the 2021 Houston Open. Including this finish, List has produced five finishes of T11 or better in his last 10 starts at tracks that are over 7,400 yards long, including his win at the South Course of Torrey Pines for last season’s Farmers Open. List has made four of his last five cuts coming into this week – three of which he gained strokes on APP – and brings excellent upside at an affordable cost.
Davis Thompson ($7,300) - Thompson has looked terrific ever since graduating from the Korn Ferry Tour, making his first three cuts on the PGA TOUR, including a T9 at the Fortinet Championship and a T12 at the Shriners Open. During this three-start stretch, the Georgia graduate has gained strokes from T2G, OTT and on APP at every event and has averaged a compelling 313-yard long drive. Furthermore, Thompson has shot even par or better in 10/12 rounds, most notably with a 7-under 65 at the Fortinet Championship, which was two-strokes from being the lowest number of the tournament. The 23-year-old has quickly moved up 20 spots in the world golf rankings with his early success on the PGA TOUR and should continue to impress this week in Houston.
Stephen Jaeger ($7,100) – While coming off a missed cut at the Bermuda Championship, Jaeger should bounce back this week in Houston. The 33-year-old only missed the weekend by one-stroke in Bermuda and prior to this, Jaeger had made eight of his 10 previous cuts, with five top-30 finishes during this time frame. The Tennessee product also recorded a respectable T35 finish in his debut at Memorial Park last season and checks every box for the unique par 70 in his current form. On top of a strong 306-yard average drive across his last 10 starts, Jaeger ranks fifth in par-5 efficiency and 10th in par-3 efficiency when we analyze this field’s last 24 rounds.
Charley Hoffman ($6,800) – Hoffman has been playing well as of late, making five of his past seven cuts and despite his age, the 45-year-old has been bombing it OTT, ranking 22nd in driving distance across his past 24 rounds. In addition to the form, Hoffman has always loved competing in Houston. At the 2020 Houston Open, the veteran finished T29 in his first attempt at Memorial Park, including a closing round 3-under 67. Furthermore, Hoffman has never missed a cut and has six top-30 finishes in 11 appearances at the Golf Club of Houston, which was this event’s host before Memorial Park. Hoffman was priced up to $7.4K for the last time he competed at a Houston Open and is an outstanding bargain at this depressed salary.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.