Brooks Koepka, Jason Day, Adam Scott and Francesco Molinari will be reviewed in Tuesday’s Fantasy Insider along with other notables.
Memorial Park hosted this tournament in 1947 and 1951-1963, so this is nothing new for the PGA TOUR. However, the way he presents himself this week is quite different from when Bob Charles was the last to win the property.
This marks the debut of the TOUR of a Tom Doak (2019) overhaul and it doesn’t disappoint. There are five par 3s and five par 5s on par 72. If this sounds familiar, Sherwood Country Club, the recent host of ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD, puts on the same picture. Unlike Tony, 7,073 yards at Sherwood, Memorial Park is a municipal track and can stretch up to 7,432 yards. The longest hole is the 625-yard, par-5 eighth. The longest par 3 is the 237-yard 11th, but the toughest hole might turn out to be the par-4 finisher who points to 503 yards.
Doak used the tips from Brooks Koepka, which encouraged the architect to reduce to less than two dozen sand bunkers. As a result, MiniVerde Bermudagrass Greens are protected by Doak’s imaginative ripples, grassy gathering areas, and a Stimpmeter measure of over 12 feet.
With unfamiliar greens, finding the shortest grass off the tee will matter. Rough over two-inch primary surrounds the fairways, while greens averaging 7,000 square feet will require approach accuracy due to bumps, hills, and sections of potential hole locations. Long ball hitters have an advantage but, as always, unpredictable hot putters should never be ruled out.
Due to the move from mid-October to early November, the field is down from 12 to 132. As of Monday afternoon, 36 are also scheduled to compete in next week’s Masters. Unlike when the Golf Club of Houston was groomed to mimic elements of the Augusta National Challenge, comparisons to Memorial Park will not be intentional due to the tournament timing.
Fabulous conditions are expected throughout the Vivint Houston Open with temperatures high in the upper 70s every day. Breezes from the east will be moderate at worst. Rain is not expected.
ROB BOLTON SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider, Rob Bolton, recaps and presents each tournament from many angles. Look for his following contributions as expected.
MONDAY: Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Medical extensions, Recruit watch, Power ratings
MARDI*: Sleepers, Fantaisie Insider
* – Rob is a member of PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks panel for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes Tuesday.