Sun Sentinel
PGA Tour
PGA - Shell Houston Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, April 2nd through Sunday, April 5th
SITE: Redstone Golf Club (Tournament Course), Humble, Texas
COURSE ARCHITECT: Rees Jones (2005), David Toms (consultant)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,457
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 397 yds10 - Par 4 380 yds
2 - Par 4 429 yds11 - Par 4 441 yds
3 - Par 4 398 yds12 - Par 4 338 yds
4 - Par 5 566 yds13 - Par 5 590 yds
5 - Par 4 480 yds14 - Par 3 216 yds
6 - Par 4 464 yds15 - Par 5 608 yds
7 - Par 3 174 yds16 - Par 3 204 yds
8 - Par 5 557 yds17 - Par 4 489 yds
9 - Par 3 238 yds18 - Par 4 488 yds
36 3,703 yds36 3,754 yds
Annual:  62nd
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 3-6 p.m. (et),
  Thursday/Friday -- 8:30-11:30 p.m. (et) - replay,
  NBC - Saturday -- 1-5 p.m. (et),
  Sunday -- 3-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Johnson Wagner
Runner-Up:  Chad Campbell, Geoff Ogilvy
Tournament Record:  266 (Vijay Singh, 2002 - Par 72)
Tournament Record:  266 (Curtis Strange, Lee Trevino, 1980 - Par 71)
54-Hole Record:  198 (Vijay Singh, 2002 - Par 72)
54-Hole Record:  195 (Curtis Strange, 1980 - Par 71)
36-Hole Record:  129 (Blaine McCallister, 1993 - Par 72)
36-Hole Record:  129 (Curtis Strange, 1980 - Par 71)
18-Hole Record:  62 (Ron Streck, 1981 - Woodlands Country Club;
  Fred Funk, 1992 - TPC at The Woodlands;
  Greg Chalmers, Jeff Maggert, 2003; Vijay Singh, 2005 -
  Redstone Golf Club Member Course)
Course Record:  63 (Adam Scott, Johnson Wagner, 2008)
Total Purse:  $5,700,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,026,000; 2nd Place - $615,600; 3rd Place - $387,600
2008 Finish
Johnson Wagner272Bob Estes276
Chad Campbell274Charley Hoffman276
Geoff Ogilvy274Jason Day278
Fred Couples275Pat Perez278
Billy Mayfair275Kevin Sutherland278
Past Shell Houston Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008Johnson Wagner (272) -- Chad Campbell, Geoff Ogilvy
2007Adam Scott (271) -- Stuart Appleby, Bubba Watson
2006Stuart Appleby (269) -- Bob Estes
2005*Vijay Singh (275) -- John Daly
2004Vijay Singh (277) -- Scott Hoch
2003Fred Couples (267) -- Stuart Appleby, Mark Calcavecchia, Hank Kuehne
2002Vijay Singh (266) -- Darren Clarke
2001Hal Sutton (278) -- Joe Durant, Lee Janzen
2000*Robert Allenby (275) -- Craig Stadler
1999Stuart Appleby (279) -- John Cook, Hal Sutton
1998David Duval (276) -- Jeff Maggert
1997*Phil Blackmar (276) -- Kevin Sutherland
1996*Mark Brooks (274) -- Jeff Maggert
1995*Payne Stewart (276) -- Scott Hoch
1994Mike Heinen (272) -- Tom Kite, Jeff Maggert, Hal Sutton
1993*#Jim McGovern (199) -- John Huston
1992Fred Funk (272) -- Kirk Triplett
1991Fulton Allem (273) -- Billy Ray Brown, Mike Hulbert, Tom Kite
1990*#Tony Sills (204) -- Gil Morgan
1989Mike Sullivan (280) -- Craig Stadler
1988*Curtis Strange (270) -- Greg Norman
1987*Jay Haas (276) -- Buddy Gardner
1986*Curtis Strange (274) -- Calvin Peete
1985Raymond Floyd (277) -- David Frost, Bob Lohr
1984Corey Pavin (274) -- Buddy Gardner
1983David Graham (275) -- Lee Elder, Jim Thorpe, Lee Trevino
1982*Ed Sneed (275) -- Bob Shearer
1981#Ron Streck (198) -- Hale Irwin, Jerry Pate
1980*Curtis Strange (266) -- Lee Trevino
1979Wayne Levi (268) -- Michael Brannan
1978Gary Player (270) -- Andy Bean
1977Gene Littler (276) -- Lanny Wadkins
1976Lee Elder (278) -- Forrest Fezler
1975Bruce Crampton (273) -- Gil Morgan
1974Dave Hill (276) -- Rod Curl, Steve Melnyk, Andy North
1973Bruce Crampton (277) -- Dave Stockton
1972Bruce Devlin (278) -- Tommy Aaron, Lou Graham, Doug Sanders
1971*Hubert Green (280) -- Don January
1970*Gibby Gilbert (282) -- Bruce Crampton
1969Not Held (Hosted US Open)
1968Roberto de Vicenzo (274) -- Lee Trevino
1967Frank Beard (274) -- Arnold Palmer
1966Arnold Palmer (275) -- Gardner Dickinson
1965Bobby Nichols (273) -- Bruce Devlin, Chi Chi Rodriguez
1964Mike Souchak (278) -- Jack Nicklaus
1963Bob Charles (268) -- Fred Hawkins
1962*Bobby Nichols (278) -- Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sikes
1961*Jay Hebert (276) -- Ken Venturi
1960*Bill Collins (280) -- Arnold Palmer
1959*Jack Burke Jr (277) -- Julius Boros
1958Ed Oliver (281) -- Roberto de Vicenzo, Jay Hebert
1957Arnold Palmer (279) -- Doug Ford
1956Ted Kroll (277) -- Jack Burke Jr, Dave Douglas
1955Mike Souchak (273) -- Jerry Barber
1954Dave Douglas (277) -- Cary Middlecoff
1953*Cary Middlecoff (283) -- Jim Ferrier, Shelley Mayfield
1952Jack Burke Jr (277) -- Frank Stranahan
1951Marty Furgol (277) -- Jack Burke Jr
1950Cary Middlecoff (277) -- Pete Cooper
1949John Palmer (272) -- Cary Middlecoff
1948Not Held
1947Bobby Locke (277) -- Johnny Palmer, Ellsworth Vines
1946Byron Nelson (274) -- Ben Hogan

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Formerly called Independence Insurance Agent Open (1988-91), Big I
Houston Open (1987), Houston Open (1985-86), Houston Coca-Cola Open (1983-84), Michelob Houston Open (1980-82), Houston Open (1972-79), Houston Champion International (1966-71), Houston Classic (1959-65), Houston Open International (1958), Houston Open (1947-57), Tournament of Champions (1946).

Top Contenders in the Field
Johnson Wagner------------------------T-9Won
Geoff Ogilvy---------T-34T-710thT-62------T-2
Chad Campbell---------T-31T-21---mc------T-2
Billy Mayfair---T-38T-6------T-29T-28---T-56T-4
Fred Couples---T-53T-22T-17WonT-49---------T-4
Bob EstesT-73---------------T-392ndT-9T-6
Steve StrickerT-45mc---mcmcT-19T-623rdT-9T-11
K.J. Choi---mcT-62T-51mcT-11---T-6T-19T-11
Lucas Glover---------------T-29T-7T-21mcT-14
Aaron Baddeley------------wdT-65---T-36---T-14
Stuart ApplebyWonmcmc---T-2------WonT-2T-23
Phil Mickelson------------T-28------------T-23
Padraig Harrington---------------------T-32T-24T-26
Justin LeonardT-17mcT-4T-6T-49T-29---mcT-36T-39
Jeev Milkha Singh------------------------78thT-39
Anthony Kim------------------------T-5mc
Jeff MaggertT-33T-17mcmc6thmcT-7mcT-14mc
Angel Cabrera------------------------T-19mc
Peter Lonard------------------------mcmc
Andres Romero---------------------------mc
Lee Westwood---------------T-49------T-56---
Robert Karlsson------------------------mc---
Vijay SinghT-5---T-6WonT-9WonWonT-36------
Camilo Villegas---------------------T-59------
Ernie Els------------T-17---------------
Greg Norman---------T-23------------------
Paul Casey------------------------------
Sergio Garcia------------------------------
Rory McIlroy------------------------------
Henrik Stenson------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Phil Mickelson
Darkhorse - Charlie Wi
Last Week's Pick to Win (Tiger Woods) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Brett Quigley) - Missed the cut
The PGA Tour makes the first of four scheduled stops in the Lone Star state, as 12 of the top 14 players in the world compete for this prestigious title, including four of the top five: Phil Mickelson (2), Sergio Garcia (3), Geoff Ogilvy (4) and Padraig Harrington (5). The Shell Houston Open is the final tune-up prior to the year's first major championship, The Masters.

This tournament is the 10th-oldest event on the PGA Tour, dating back to 1946. Some of the previous winners include: Byron Nelson, Cary Middlecoff, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Payne Stewart, Bob Charles, Raymond Floyd, Curtis Strange and Vijay Singh.

Last year, Johnson Wagner opened with a course-record 63 in the first round and held at least a share of the lead after every round on the way to winning. Wagner completed his first tour crown at 16-under-par 272 for a two-shot win over Chad Campbell and Ogilvy.

In 2007, Adam Scott fired rounds of 65-66 on the weekend to win by three strokes over two-time champion Stuart Appleby and Bubba Watson.

In 2006, Appleby carded four rounds in the 60s to win in wire-to-wire fashion. He closed with a five-under 67 in the final round to win by a tournament- record-tying six strokes over Bob Estes. Appleby, who became the first wire- to-wire winner in Houston Open history, finished at 19-under-par 269 for his second title at this event and the eighth of his PGA Tour career.

Appleby became the sixth player in Houston Open history to post four rounds in the 60s, joining Singh (2002), Mike Heinen (1994), Strange (1988), Jay Haas (1987) and Charles (1963).

In 2005, Singh parred the first playoff hole to defeat John Daly and become the first player to win the Houston Open in consecutive years. Singh had a very big week, as he was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame before the tournament. Singh has won the Houston Open three times (2002, 04-05).

After an 18-year run at the TPC of The Woodlands and a 27-year association with The Woodlands area, the Houston Open moved to The Member Course at Redstone Golf Club in 2003. In 2006, the event moved to the Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club, which opened in 2005. The course, designed by the "U.S. Open Doctor" Rees Jones and player consultant David Toms, was created especially to host a PGA Tour event. The course was carved out of woodlands lush with oak, pine and cypress trees and has wetlands filled with native plants and flowers.

When Fred Couples won this tournament in 2003 it was his first title on the PGA Tour since the 1998 Memorial. When Singh won the 2002 event, it marked the first time in his career that he had shot four rounds in the 60s and captured an event. Singh's tournament total of 266 set a new event record as did his 54-hole mark of 198. Singh's victory margin of six equaled the largest in tournament history, matching the mark set by Jack Burke, Jr. in 1952. Appleby matched the six-stroke victory margin in 2006.

Singh is the all-time money leader at this event with $2,968,994 in earnings and has finished in the top 10 in eight of his 11 career appearances. When Robert Allenby won the 2000 event with an even-par round of 72, it marked the highest final-round score by a Houston Open winner since Gene Littler posted a two-over 74 in 1977.

There have been 19 playoffs in the 61-year history of this event. Strange has won this event three times, all in playoffs. He is the only player in PGA Tour history to accomplish that feat. Singh and Strange are the only three-time winners in tournament history. There have been nine multiple winners of this event: Singh, Strange, Appleby, Middlecoff, Burke, Palmer, Mike Souchak, Bobby Nichols and Bruce Crampton.

Only 13 times in the 61-year history of the Houston Open has the first-round leader gone on to win the event. Players who have gone on to win the Houston Open after leading the event after round one were: Wagner (shared in 2008); Appleby (led by two strokes in 2006); Singh (led by one stroke in 2005); Couples (led by one stroke in 2003); Ed Sneed (led by one stroke in 1982); David Graham (shared in 1983); Player (led by one stroke in 1978); Gibby Gilbert (shared in 1970); Frank Beard (shared in 1967); Bud Collins (shared in 1960); Ed Oliver (shared in 1958); Palmer (led by one stroke in 1957); Middlecoff (shared in 1953). Only six players have gone on to win after leading at the halfway point: Mark Brooks (1996), Allenby (2000, co-leader), Singh (2002), Couples (2003, co-leader), Appleby (2006) and Wagner (2008).

Tom Kite made the cut in 21 of 22 Houston events, surpassing Jimmy Demaret for the most career cuts in Houston. Demaret, however, holds the record for making the cut at this event 17 consecutive times (1946-47; no tournament in 1948; did not enter in 1949; picked up streak again 1950-64). Former Houston Cougar John Mahaffey set the record for most career appearances in 1998. Mahaffey played in 26 Houston Tour stops, eclipsing Lionel Hebert's standard of 25. Hebert played more rounds in Houston than any other, teeing it up 87 times.

Houston resident Jeff Maggert has five top-10 finishes at the Shell Houston Open, with three runner-up finishes at his home course, the TPC Woodlands. Maggert has fared well at Redstone with three top-15 finishes in six years.

The PGA Tour moves east to Augusta, Georgia, next week for the 73rd edition of The Masters, where South African Trevor Immelman won his first major championship last year.

03/31 15:33:38 ET

As of March 31, 2009, at 03:33 PM ET