After hosting three tournaments outside the United States, the PGA TOUR returns to the United States this week for the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open. For the second year in a row, this event will be held at the Memorial Park Golf Course (par 70, 7,412 yards, Bermuda greens). Carlos Ortiz picked up the first PGA TOUR victory of his career at this event last season, with a winning number of -13. Memorial Park is one of the longest courses on TOUR and elite drivers of the golf ball need to be a priority this week. Last season, five of the top-10 finishers ranked inside the top-10 in SG OTT for the week, including some notable bombers in Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka. As usual, strong iron play will also be needed to contend at the Houston Open. During his win last season, Ortiz ranked 16th in SG APP and 10th in GIR.
Memorial Park isn’t your traditional par 70. The track is home to five par threes, three par fives and 10 par fours. Efficiency on the par fours will be most crucial, but we also need to put a heavy weight on par five scoring this week. Ortiz and runner-up Hideki Matsuyama ranked first and second in SG on the par fives a year ago, respectively.
This is a limited field of 132 players, including 10 of the top-30 ranked golfers in the world. A standard top-65 and ties cut will take place following the first two rounds, and below are four value plays under $7.5K that I will be targeting on DraftKings.
Charley Hoffman, $7,300
Hoffman loves making the annual trip to Houston and is a standout value at this low salary. In 12 appearances at the Houston Open, the 44-year-old has never missed a cut and has produced seven top-30 finishes. Hoffman carded a T29 at Memorial Park last season and has advanced through the cut at 20 of his past 22 events, with half of these finishes being top-25s.
Additionally, when we analyze this field’s last 50 rounds on Bermuda, Hoffman ranks second in total strokes gained. Among all the players priced under $7.5K this week, the veteran is tied for the best odds to win the Houston Open on DraftKings Sportsbook at +6500.
Taylor Pendrith, $7,200
Ignore that Pendrith missed the cut last week and fire him up at this price. Prior to the speed bump in Mexico, the 30-year-old had made nine of his 10 previous cuts, with the highlight of this run being a T5 at the Bermuda Championship two weeks ago.
This season, Pendrith has shot under par in 15 of 18 rounds, and his driver has been his best club, ranking first in SG OTT over his last 24 rounds. Pendrith’s game sets up well for Memorial Park and he brings top-20 upside this week.
Joel Dahmen, $7,000
Relative to his consistency, Dahmen is very underpriced right now. Since his win at the Corales Puntacana Championship back in March, Dahmen has made 13 of 15 cuts. Including that victory, the 33-year-old has notched five top-25 finishes during this time. Furthermore, Dahmen has amassed positive strokes from T2G in eight of his last 12 starts, and has been dialed in with his irons, posting a 70.3% GIR rate across his past 10.
Dahmen tends to shine in weaker fields, and he should easily provide value at this price with at least four rounds of golf.
Scott Piercy, $6,700
Including a T32 at Memorial Park last season, Piercy owns a spotless 9/9 record in terms of made cuts at Houston Opens. He returns to the Lone Star state as the maker of eight of his last nine cuts, most notably with a T3 at the Barracuda Championship and a T11 at the Fortinet Championship. Also, Piercy’s driver has arguably been his top club, with him gaining strokes OTT in six consecutive starts, and his best career putting splits come on Bermuda.
Piercy has much better upside than this low salary suggests, and he is a player that will absolutely come with low ownership. Across his last five starts, Piercy has only garnered a DraftKings main GPP ownership of 1.9%.
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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.
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