HOUSTON - The field for next week's Shell Houston Open is major championship winner rich. No less than 15 world class professionals have claimed 23 major championships. Defending SHO champion Phil Mickelson leads the way with four majors, followed by Padraig Harrington of Ireland with three, Angel Cabrera of Argentina and Ernie Els of South Africa with two each.
"The golf fans of Houston are going to see some of the best golfers in the world competing on an immaculate Redstone Golf Club - Tournament Course," said Steve Timms, SHO Tournament Director and CEO/president of Houston Golf Association.
Lee Westwood of England (No. 3 in the World Golf Rankings) and No. 5 Steve Stricker will join No. 12 World Match Play Champion Hunter Mahan, No. 13 Mickelson and No. 17 Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland at Redstone Golf Club - Tournament Course. Tournament Play begins Wednesday and runs through Sunday with pro-am action set on Monday at noon and all-day on Wedesday.
Three of four reigning major champions will be on hand: Charl Schwartzel of South Africa (2011 Masters), Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland (2011 British Open) and Keegan Bradley (2011 PGA Championship). They will be joined by 2010 major championship winners Mickelson (Masters), McDowell (U.S. Open) and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa (British Open). All four major winners from 2009 will be teeing it up for the $6 million purse, Angel Cabrera (Masters), Lucas Glover (U.S. Open), Stewart Cink (British Open) and Y.E. Yang (PGA Championship).
Seven former Shell Houston Open champions in the field - Mickelson (2011), Anthony Kim (2010), Paul Casey of England (2009), Johnson Wagner (2008), Fred Couples (2003), plus Australians Stuart Appleby (1999, 2006) and Robert Allenby (2000). There are also six 2012 PGA TOUR event winners in the mix; Stricker (Hyundai Tournament of Champions), Wagner (SONY Open), Kyle Stanley (Waste Management Phoenix Open), Mickelson (AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) and John Huh (Mayakoba Golf Classic).
Current Ryder Cup U.S. Captain Davis Love III, winner of the 1997 PGA Championship, is scheduled to make his 10th start in the Shell Houston Open, dating back to 1986. One major reason Love and Els are teeing it up in Houston is that the winner receives an invitation to play in The Masters the following week.
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