With a wide-open, Tiger Woods-less Masters just a week away many are using the Houston Open as their final preparation while for those not eligible for the season’s first Major, there is the added bonus of the winner here becoming the final qualifier for Augusta.
Rory Mcllroy is the 10/1 market leader and is perhaps the obvious man to beat but his course form isn’t great and I prefer the chances of Dustin Johnson, both here as well as at Augusta, and I regard the American as decent value at 14/1.
2014 has been a year of outsiders so far and this course will be ideal for the BMW PGA champion Matteo Mannesero. The young Italian is available at 100/1, as is American Kevin Streelman who also looks to have the right profile here.
The NH Collection Open looks a low key affair in Cadiz Spain this week with the fact that David Horsey is a 16/1 market leader perhaps telling its own story.
Simon Dyson looks over the odds in this field at 33/1 with Paddy Power. However, it might be wise to take a watching brief in Spain this week, to glean pointers for the summer in Europe.
Indeed, this week’s action is very much the calm before the storm of the Masters, which for first time in nearly two decades will not feature Tiger Woods. Nevertheless, as it’s the opening Major of 2014, even the announcement of his absence has done little to diminish excitement.