I’m not surprised at all to see Viktor Hovland successfully defend his Mayakoba Championship.  He was surrounded by big names on the leaderboard from Justin Thomas to Scottie Scheffler to Joaquin Niemann.  When you look through the players at the top, it really is a mix bag of players, not just one type.  I’d say ball striking was the key ingredient to success over the weekend in Mexico.  

This event between 2007 and 2018 had been the lead up tournament to the Masters.  It was played on a course where golfers could work out the kinks in their game before heading to Augusta.  The Golf Club of Houston and Augusta National do have similar characteristics.  The tournament moved venues and dates in 2019.  This will be the third time we’ve seen Memorial Park Golf Course which is just a few miles west of downtown Houston.  

This public course is a Par 70 and measures out at 7,432 yards.  That is a similar distance to the Golf Club of Houston but where it differs is the layout.  This course features five par 3s and five par 5s.  Players will have to take out the driver this weekend unlike the last two weeks.  Three of the par 5s are longer than 570 yards (holes number 8 stretches 625 yards) which will make those holes more difficult to make birdies.  The longest par 3 tips at about 237 yards.  The par 4s are all over the map from a driveable par 4 13th to four others stretching out longer than 450 yards including a 502 yard finishing hole.  The rough looks to be a little over two inches thick which will put emphasis on accuracy off the tee but length is important as well.  The greens are Bermuda grass but they are known for their bumps, hills and mounds.  That movement will cause balls to fall off the greens into tough collection areas.  Players' short game will be tested at Memorial.  We need players who can get the ball close and deal with tough pin placements. 

Besides some morning showers on Thursday in the forecast, the rest of the weekend in Houston looks to be perfect.  One note being that this event is played in Texas is the wind.  There is just something about those Texas winds that seem different than what you see on the coastline or on an island.  I will have a few players in my playbook who have experience and success in Texas.  The winds look to be in the single digits most of the weekend.  

Good luck this weekend.


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