2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open Predictions: Winners, Sleepers, Busts, and Holes to Watch at Memorial Park Golf Course
After a drama-free Sunday at the World Wide Technology Championship in which Russell Henley cruised to a four-shot victory in Mayakoba, the PGA Tour rolls on this week to the 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open.
World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler will be the betting favorite to win for the second week in a row, but he’ll have to fight off his close friend, Sam Burns, as well as Tony Finau and Hideki Matsuyama at the top of the odds board.
We won’t be seeing a repeat champion at Memorial Park Golf Course this week, as reigning champ Jason Kokrak has taken his talents to LIV Golf. Carlos Ortiz, the winner in 2021, has also joined the rival golf tour.
So, who will take home the title at the 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open? Sportscasting’s golf experts give out their picks to win and much more for the eighth stop on the 2022-23 PGA Tour schedule.
2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open predictions
Luke Norris: Scottie Scheffler
So I know it’s a little boring to pick the favorite, but I genuinely like Scottie Scheffler here this week. He tied for second here a year ago, finishing two shots behind Jason Kokrak, but if not for a lethargic opening-round 72, he wouldn’t have had to wait three more months to notch that first PGA Tour victory.
Following that 72, Scheffler shot a course-record 62 the following day and fired a pair of 69s over the weekend. So he knows how to go low at Memorial Park. He’s coming off a T3 finish in Mexico and seems ready to get back to the winner’s circle, which would also get him back to the No. 1 spot in the world rankings.
Jack Dougherty: Sam Burns
I’ve said this for a while now, but Sam Burns is the best player on the PGA Tour who doesn’t get enough credit. The LSU product is No. 12 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and every player in front of him (and even a few behind him) is considered a superstar in the world of golf.
For some reason, Burns is not. That should change soon.
In his last two starts at Memorial Park, Burns finished T7 both times. He also finished T7 at the CJ Cup in his last start on the PGA Tour, so he’s carrying some solid form into his third event of the season. It’s not a deep field in terms of talent this week, which is a perfect recipe for Burns’ fifth career win.
Luke Norris: Joel Dahmen
45-1 odds for a guy who tied for fifth at this same tournament a year ago seem a little steep, don’t they? Joel Dahmen shot 65 in the final round at Memorial Park a year ago to get himself in that position, finishing just four shots back, and is coming in hot after tying for third alongside Scheffler and a few others last week at Mayakoba. The world No. 100 has finished 16th or better in three of his last four starts and currently ranks 11th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green.
Jack Dougherty: Sepp Straka
Looking at the betting odds for this week, Sepp Straka was the first name that stood out for me. The Austrian is the fifth-highest-ranked player in the field this week at No. 27 in the world, he nearly won the Sanderson Farms Championship last month before finishing solo second, and he recorded a T5 at Memorial Park just two years ago.
And yet, Straka is the 32nd name down the odds board at 65-1 odds? That doesn’t make much sense to me, so I think he’s a decent longshot bet at a course he’s previously had success on.
Most likely bust
Luke Norris: Russell Henley
Back-to-back winning weeks are a rarity on the PGA Tour these days, and World Wide Technology Championship winner Russell Henley has a tendency to go up and down. Yes, he finished tied for seventh at last year’s Houston Open. But the week prior, he tied for 56th. And the week after, he tied for 22nd. Up and down, right?
In his most recent start before last week, Henley was down, tying for 45th at the CJ Cup. Then he was obviously up with a win in Mexico. So a dropdown seems to be in the cards this week.
Jack Dougherty: Tony Finau
Tony Finau is a top-three player in this field in terms of sheer talent, there’s no doubt about that, but nothing about his recent play makes me want to back him this week. The World No. 15 has only made one start this season, and it finished with a missed cut at Mayakoba last week.
Finau also missed the cut at Memorial Park last year, which was his only MC in his first six starts of the season. I don’t see him contending this week.
Luke Norris: No. 16
At 576 yards, the par-5 16th at Memorial Park is reachable in two for some, especially those who can find the downslope in the fairway off the tee to gain some extra yardage. However, if the golf ball hits that slope and rolls too far left, players will find themselves in some thick trees and will almost be forced to lay up. But even if they find the fairway, it’s not as if they’ll have an easy second shot into the green, which is protected by water on three sides. And there’s not much room to bail out to the back, either. So even short third shots could get tricky. Precision is the name of the game on this hole.
Jack Dougherty: No. 15
The par-3 15th at Memorial Park is the shortest hole on the golf course at just 155 yards, but don’t be fooled by the distance. The narrow green isn’t an easy target for these players, and trouble awaits with a creek short and left and a false front on the right side. A precise tee shot will set up an easy look at birdie, but a slight miss-hit could bring double bogey into play rather quickly.
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