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Houston Open tips: Sahith Theegala can convert recent top ten finishes into overdue Tour success

The USPGA Tour moves west to Texas, where golf pundit Martin Colwell has been running his expert eye over the 140-plus players lining up to compete for the Texas Children’s Houston Open.

Houston Open key stats:

  • When: March 28-31 2024
  • Where: Memorial Park Golf Course, Houston, Texas
  • How long: 7,435 yards - par 70
  • What to expect: Tree-lined generous undulating fairways, four water hazards, tricky sloping greens
  • Who won last year: Tony Finau (-16)

Scottie Scheffler goes for the hat-trick this week after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship on his last two outings. That’s enough to send the bookies scurrying for cover, and he’s been installed as 11/4 favourite, which is as unappealing as it is justified.

His short price does enhance the odds elsewhere, however, and recent Tour winner Wyndham Clark is next in the betting at 12/1. that said, even those odds appear a bit skinny for an each-way play, which leaves Sahith Theegala as the first to carry decent value at around the 16/1 mark.

The popular American has missed one cut all year, was runner-up at the Sentry in Hawaii, and has made the top ten in three of his last four starts.

He was level with eventual winner Scheffler going into the final round of the Players Championship two weeks ago before slipping back to ninth, and now a Texas resident he should receive plenty of local support.

Suggested bet: Sahith Theegala (16/1) each-way in the Houston Open

 

Considering his recent injury issues, it’s understandable that Will Zalatoris is picking and choosing his tournaments, and although this one seems to suit his game, the bookies aren’t giving much away at 18/1.

Meanwhile, Tony Finau’s 22/1 tag seems more a reflection of his winning performance here last year than his current form (he missed the cut at last week’s Valspar Championship), and if we were to opt with him here, we would need to rely on him rekindling his best form of 12 months ago.

At the same price, Jason Day has won in Texas on three occasions in his long career, and has secured three top tens in seven starts so far in 2024, so he seems solid enough as an each-way option. 

Of more interest, however, is American Keith Mitchell who has been lurking around the business end of tournaments all year, including taking a share of the lead into the final round of the Valspar last week.

Unfortunately, while all around him were making their upward moves, Mitchell’s game collapsed to score a six-over-par 78 and slip down to 17th. If we can forgive him that as a one-day blip, then the 28/1 on offer looks solid for a top ball striker who was ninth here last year, and looked in great shape until Sunday's implosion.

Suggested bet: Keith Mitchell (28/1) each-way in the Houston Open

 

Outsiders to watch:

  • Akshay Bhatia (66/1) - Another emerging talent who also has a win on tour, Bhatia is fine with navigating a course such as this, and his price could look huge by Sunday afternoon.
  • Cameron Champ (100/1) - Although a bit hit and miss on Tour, Champ does carry the ball a long way, and could make his mark if able to find the fairway round here.
  • Chris Gotterup (125/1) - Considered to be a star of the future by many, Gotterup was successful on the Korn Ferry Tour and is now making his way with the big boys, having featured on several leaderboards during his brief time on Tour.

Suggested bet: Chris Gotterup (125/1) each-way in the Houston Open

 

Suggested bet summary:

 

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