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

DATES: Thursday, March 29th through Sunday, April 1st
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:  65th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 3-6 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 1-3 p.m. (et),
  NBC - Saturday/Sunday -- 3-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Phil Mickelson
Runner-Up:  Chris Kirk, Scott Verplank
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;
  Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, 2011)
Total Purse:  $6,000,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,080,000; 2nd Place - $648,000; 3rd Place - $408,000
2011 Finish
Phil Mickelson268Robert Allenby276
Chris Kirk271David Hearn276
Scott Verplank271Five players at277
Aaron Baddeley275
Steve Stricker275
Past Shell Houston Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Phil Mickelson (268) -- Chris Kirk, Scott Verplank
2010*Anthony Kim (276) -- Vaughn Taylor
2009*Paul Casey (277) -- J.B. Holmes
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
Phil Mickelson---T-28------------T-23mcT-35Won
Scott VerplankT-14------------------T-31---T-2
Chris Kirk---------------------------T-2
Aaron Baddeley---wdT-65---T-36---T-14mcT-50T-4
Steve StrickermcmcT-19T-623rdT-9T-11mc---T-4
Robert AllenbyT-34---T-49---------T-34------T-6
Padraig Harrington------------T-32T-24T-26T-26T-40T-8
Hunter Mahan------mcmcT-11T-5mcT-6mcT-8
Anthony Kim---------------T-5mcT-26WonT-13
Chad CampbellT-31T-21---mc------T-2T-49T-25T-13
Louis Oosthuizen------------------mc------T-16
Vaughn Taylor------wdmcmcT-27mcT-492ndT-30
Charl Schwartzel------------81st---------T-3T-30
Lee Westwood------T-49------T-56---T-11T-8T-30
Johnson Wagner---------------T-9Wonmc71stT-36
Ernie Els---T-17---------------T-14T-44T-51
Keegan Bradley---------------------------T-51
Fred CouplesT-17WonT-49---------T-4T-3T-55T-60
Stuart Appleby---T-2------WonT-2T-23T-31T-44mc
Paul Casey---------------------Won------
Graeme McDowell------------T-54---------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Graeme McDowell
Darkhorse - Ernie Els
Last Week's Pick to Win (Bo Van Pelt) - Not in final field
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jeff Overton) - Finished tied for 70th
The PGA Tour makes the first of four scheduled stops in the Lone Star state, as seven of the top-20 players in the world compete for this prestigious title. Lee Westwood is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the world. He is joined by Steve Stricker (5), Charl Schwartzel (7), Graeme McDowell (13), Hunter Mahan (14), 2011 champion Phil Mickelson (15) and Keegan Bradley (20). McDowell is coming off a runner-up finish to Tiger Woods last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He has three top-15 finishes in his last three starts on the PGA Tour. The purse increased $100,000 from last year to $6 million, with the winner receiving $1,080,000. This tournament is the final tune-up prior to the year's first major championship, The Masters, where Schwartzel will defend his first major title.

Last year, 2003 champion Fred Couples tied for 60th, making his 18th straight cut at this event. He surpassed Jimmy Demaret for most consecutive cuts made at this tournament. The only time Couples missed the cut here was in his first start in 1981. Couples is in the field again this week, coming off a victory at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic on the Champions Tour last week.

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, Vijay Singh, Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson.

After an 18-year run at the TPC of The Woodlands and a 27-year association with The Woodlands area, this tournament 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.

Last year, Mickelson fired rounds of 63-65 on the weekend for a three-stroke win over Chris Kirk and Scott Verplank. His 63 in the third round matched the course record. Mickelson finished at 20-under-par 268. The victory marked the eighth straight season Mickelson has won on tour, the longest active streak. He extended that streak to nine seasons with a win at Pebble Beach earlier in 2012.

In 2010, Anthony Kim parred the first playoff hole to defeat Vaughn Taylor. The victory was Kim's third on the PGA Tour and first since his multiple-win season of 2008. Kim has not won since winning here in 2010.

In 2009, Paul Casey bogeyed the first playoff hole, but it was enough to defeat J.B. Holmes and earn his first PGA Tour victory. Casey had previously won nine European Tour titles, but this was his first win in the United States.

Johnson Wagner opened with a course-record 63 in the first round in 2008 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 Geoff Ogilvy.

In 2006, Stuart 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 tournament history, finished at 19-under-par 269 for his second title at this event. A

In 2005, Singh parred the first playoff hole to defeat John Daly and become the first player to win this event 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 this event three times (2002, 04-05).

When 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 won. 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 13 career appearances.

There have been 21 playoffs in the 64-year history of this event. That is more than any other tournament except for the U.S. Open, which has had 32 playoffs. 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: Singh, Strange, Appleby, Middlecoff, Burke, Palmer, Mike Souchak, Bobby Nichols and Bruce Crampton.

Tom Kite made the cut in 21 of 22 Houston events, surpassing Demaret for the most career cuts in Houston. 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 six top-10 finishes, with three runner-up finishes at his home course, the TPC Woodlands. Maggert has fared well at Redstone with four top-15 finishes in nine years.

The PGA Tour moves east to Augusta, Georgia, next week for the 76th edition of The Masters, where Schwartzel won his first major championship last year.

03/27 14:17:54 ET

As of March 27, 2012, at 02:31 PM ET

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