SHELL HOUSTON OPEN BETTING PREVIEW

The PGA Tour heads to Texas this week for the Shell Houston Open, the last stop before the first major of 2010 at Augusta National and Nic's Picks is trying to make it 3 big wins on the spin after Ernie Els at Bay Hill yesterday added to Rhys Davies' win in Morocco 2 weeks ago. The Shell Houston Open is set up to mimic playing conditions at Augusta National(Venue for the Masters) and is the ideal tournament for the stars to get ready for the big one.

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The Redstone tournament course itself plays about 7,500 yards with pretty generous fairways and conditions are usually fast and firm. Accuracy off the tee is not essential at the Shell Houston Open, it's more a bombers course, although there is water trouble on 10 holes so you had better not be too wild. Premium here is GIR% and putts per round. You really have to avoid being too far away from the pins after your approach shots as the greens are some of the biggest on tour and you're staring 3 putts in the face from wayward approaches.

Of the market leaders, there are some with outstanding course form such as Mahan and Ogilvy and at 33/1, Ogilvy certainly catches my attention and he's not the only Aussie on my shortlist this week. Bookie's favourite Paul Casey is also the man I fancy strongly here(defending champion) but I can't have him at such a short price. Phil Mickelson hasn't featured at the Shell Houston Open much in recent years and when he has, he hasn't done much. Stay tuned for expert Shell Houston Open picks.

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