Shell Houston Open Draws Big Names

Shell Houston Open Draws Big Names

There might be only one Augusta National, but the staff at the Redstone Golf Club has done their best to replicate the famed course as much as possible. The result is the star studded field that has showed up to play this week’s Shell Houston Open.

Ever since the Shell Houston Open became the lead-in tournament to the Masters in 2006, organizers of the event have tried to find a way to replicate the conditions at Augusta. The greens are hard and fast and the fairways are cut from green to tee just like at the Masters and more and more pros are starting to take notice.

This year in particular it switched dates with the Valero Texas Open, allowing even more of the big names, who usually like to take the week prior to the Masters off to rest and prepare, to participate in the event. Rory Mcllroy (Palm Beach Gardens), Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, and defending champion Hunter Mahan are all there. So are Old Palm residents Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuzien. They will use the event as a final tune up for Augusta, and after playing the last month on Bermuda grass in Florida, will also be able to practice on faster and firmer greens that are more similar to ones they will see at the Masters in two weeks.

Some golfers will work on their putting, while others will work on their ball striking and short game. No matter what, the winner is the Shell Houston Open who will draw bigger crowds and TV ratings with the big name field.

Round one is under way and the tournament will conclude on Sunday. For full coverage of the Shell Houston Open, including an up to the minute leaderboard, visit the PGA Tour’s website at www.pgatour.com.

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