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PGA: Shell Houston Open Preview


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By Everardo Keeme via TheSandTrap.com
We're all looking to see if Vijay can win for a fourth time and third in a row at this weeks Shell Houston Open.

houston_open_logo.gifVijay Singh goes into this year's Shell Houston Open with history on his mind. Not only has Singh won the past two Shell Houston Opens, but should he win this year, he'll accomplish something only Tiger Woods (The Memorial, Bay Hill), Tom Watson (Byron Nelson Invitational), and Stuart Appleby (Mercedes Championship) have accomplished: back-to-back-to-back wins in the same same tournament.



Last year we saw Vijah Singh defeat John Daly in a playoff with a par.

The Shell Houston dates back to 1946 and is the tenth oldest tournament on the PGA Tour schedule. Byron Nelson won that event, conducted by the Houston Golf Association. He beat Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. Records show that it was the only time those Hall of Fame players ever finished 1-2-3 in a tournament.



Suffice to say the course on which Byron won wasn't as long as this year's course. Designed by Rees Jones and PGA Tour player David Toms, Redstone can be stretched to a whopping 7,457 yards. In addition to length, the Tournament Course at the Redstone Golf Club offers short game challenges and scenic views. The Redstone Golf Club is also home of the Dick Harmon Golf School. Sadly, we lost Dick abruptly earlier this year which you can read more about him here.



redstone_tournament.jpg



There are many PGA Tour professionals from the Houston area but it wasn't until Fred Couples won in 2003 that the so-called "Cougar Jinx" was broken. Up until that point no University of Houston alumni had won a Houston-area event. Given his play at the Masters it would have been nice to see Fred compete in his hometown this week.



Looking at the rest of the field, I would think that Vijay has the best chances since he has adapted so well to the Members Course, winning four times and once finishing runner-up in recent years. It will be interesting to see how he handles the new Tournament Course. Singh's season is not off to a good start, with only one top-three finish and seven top-10's.



This year's purse is $5.3 million with $954,000 going to the winner. The Shell Houston Open will be held at the new Tournament Course at the Redstone Golf Club. From April 20 - April 23, 2006. It can be seen on USA and CBS plus heard on XM Radio on at the following
times:



Thu, 4/20 4pm-6pm ET USA
Fri, 4/19 4pm-6pm ET USA
Sat, 4/20 3pm-6pm ET CBS
Sun, 4/21 3pm-6pm ET CBS

Thu, 3/9 12pm-8pm ET XM 146
Fri, 3/10 12pm-8pm ET XM 146
Sat, 3/11 12pm-8pm ET XM 146
Sun, 3/12 12pm-8pm ET XM 146

Photo Credit: © Redstone Golf Club

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