The Houston Open returns to the PGA Tour this weekend at the Country Club of Houston after taking a hiatus from the shortened 2019 PGA Tour season. Moving from its former spot before the Masters, the Houston Open begins life in its new fall date while golfers look to accumulate FedEx Cup points before the winter break. The tournament certainly has history, it dates back to 1943 when legendary golfer Byron Nelson held off equally legendary golfer Ben Hogan by 2 strokes to claim the $2,000 prize. This year’s field sees a hungry field looking to claim the championship and etch their names into history.
2018 Champion Ian Poulter
The 2018 Houston Open saw Englishman Ian Poulter snag the last invitation to the Masters with an impressive performance. Poulter was trailing Beau Hossler heading into the final hole, needing a birdie to force a playoff. Hossler, in contention for his first PGA Tour win and first trip to the Masters, nervously watched as Poulter’s approach shot land 20 feet from the cup. No doubt Hossler must've felt good about his chances. Instead, Poulter calmly walked up and drained the putt to force the playoff. PGA Tour rookie Hossler would crack in the playoff, hitting his ball first into a bunker and next into the water. A solid par on the first playoff hole would allow Poulter to claim his 3rd PGA Tour win and first since 2012.
Poulter, a regular on the European Tour, has chosen to play the Italian Open rather than defend his title. Instead, a field of talented golfers like current FedEx int leader Sebastián Muñoz will contest the Houston Open. The Ecuadorian will look to recover from being cut at last week's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and recapture the form that saw him win the Sanderson Farms Championship and finish in 7th at the Greenbrier Classic earlier this season. Other contenders are Safeway Open winner Cameron Champ as well as 2016 British Open winner Henrik Stenson. With many of the Tour’s highest profile players taking the week off, the tournament offers a lot of intrigue and the possibility of a first time winner. With a spot at the Masters still on the line, expect the unexpected at this year’s Houston Open.
Television coverage is provided by the Golf Channel with the first two rounds being shown Thursday and Friday, 3-7pm ET. The final 2 rounds will be televised Saturday and Sunday, 4-7pm ET. Expanded coverage of select groups is available through NBC Sports golf streaming service PGA Tour Live on Thursday and Friday, 8:15am - 7pm ET. Radio coverage is provided by PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM satellite radio and streaming online at PGATour.com.