DJ is the favorite in the final tuneup before August National (Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire)
- The Vivint Houston Open from Memorial Park Golf Course tees off Thursday, November 5th
- Dustin Johnson is the heavy favorite to win outright over Tyrrell Hatton and Brooks Koepka
- We’ve narrowed down the golfers with the best chance of emerging victorious and provided the best value bets below
The final tune-up before the Masters tees off is at the Vivint Houston Open and the tournament has a new venue, having moved to Memorial Park Golf Course for its first PGA Tour event since 1963. It also marks the first time since the PGA Tour returned following the COVID-19 shutdown where fans will be able to attend in the United States.
Several big names will be teeing it up as they prepare for Augusta National, with Dustin Johnson the overwhelming favorite over a red hot Tyrrell Hatton and Brooks Koepka, who’s playing for the second time after returning from injury.
Koepka will have immediate familiarity with this track, having helped with the redesign project for the course.
Last year unheralded Lanto Griffin broke through for his first tour title at this tournament.
2020 Vivint Houston Open Odds
|Si Woo Kim||+4500|
Odds taken November 2nd from FanDuel
DJ Competing for First Time Since Positive COVID Test
Nobody in the world of golf has been playing as well as Dustin Johnson has in his previous five tournaments, which resulted in two victories, a pair of runner-ups and a T-6 showing at the US Open.
He was all set to play in both the CJ Cup and ZOZOChampionship, but a positive coronavirus test saw him have to withdraw from those events.
Irmo’s Dustin Johnson has tested positive for COVID. @abc_columbia pic.twitter.com/nH28HEcrqT
— Mike Gillespie (@MikeABCColumbia) October 13, 2020
DJ isn’t the only big name competing this week following a positive test, with Adam Scott also doing so. While his efforts squarely focused on the season’s final major at the Masters next week, I find it hard to believe Johnson will expend a lot of energy that he might not have to lap the field in Houston.
As the overwhelming +700 favorite, those odds simply aren’t enticing for any player at any event, let alone someone who’s not competed in almost two months.
Last Five Vivint Houston Open Champions
|2019||Lanto Griffin (-14)|
|2018||Ian Poulter (-19) [Playoff]|
|2017||Russell Henley (-20)|
|2016||Jim Herman (-15)|
|2015||J.B. Holmes (-16) [Playoff]|
*All tournaments were not contested at this year’s golf course
Vivint Houston Open Best Value Picks
- Doc Redman (+4000): The first victory for the 22-year-old prodigy doesn’t feel far off. Led last week’s Bermuda Championship after 54 holes before eventually settling for a T-4 result. In his last six events, has also posted a pair of T-3’s at the Safeway Open and Wyndham Championship.
- Wyndham Clark (+6500): Came heartbreakingly close to breaking into the winner’s circle at the Bermuda Championship, missing a short putt on the 72nd hole for victory then missing another short one in the playoff to lose to Brian Gay. Was T-13 his previous tournament also.
- Francesco Molinari (+15000): Huge deep dive long shot with big time boom or bust potential. On talent alone, should be nowhere near these astronomical odds. Playing in just his second start worldwide since the COVID-19 pandemic halted play, Molinari hadn’t been playing very well even before it. However, these odds are simply too juicy to not take a flier on, after Brian Gay won as a similar 200-1 darkhorse a week ago.
Michael “Hound Dog” Harrison is well known in the sports industry as the resident statisitician for the Jay and Dan Show. He has worked at TSN for over 13 years, where he’s been featured on Sportscentre, That’s Hockey, That’s Hockey 2Nite, The Masters preview shows, and several more.