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Players to watch in Houston Open

FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, file photo, Dustin Johnson hits from the fourth tee during the third round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Dustin Johnson withdrew from the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, because of the coronavirus, the most prominent player since golf resumed in June to test positive. The PGA Tour said in a statement that Johnson notified officials he was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and was given another test that came back positive. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, file photo, Dustin Johnson hits from the fourth tee during the third round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Dustin Johnson withdrew from the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, because of the coronavirus, the most prominent player since golf resumed in June to test positive. The PGA Tour said in a statement that Johnson notified officials he was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and was given another test that came back positive. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) (Associated Press)

HOUSTON, – The PGA Tour scheduling shuffle, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, benefitted the Houston Open, which is now gaining a title sponsor and its old spot the week before the Masters. This confluence of events drew an exceptional field to Houston.

Here’s a look at some of the players to watch at the Houston Open:

DUSTIN JOHNSON

The World No. 1 is coming off a FedEx Cup win, which was shortly followed up by about with COVID-19. This is Johnson’s first tournament back after spending 11 days in isolation and will attack the course as a favorite.

Johnson’s game fits Memorial Park, as he can bomb it far and is typically a good putter on Bermuda. DJ is the favorite for a reason.

BROOKS KOEPKA

The four-time major winner helped design the golf course, so he should know his way around better than any golfer. Koepka is still recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss the U.S. Open, an event he’s won twice. Memorial Park will be a good test to see how healthy Koepka is before he heads to Augusta next week.

CAMERON DAVIS

The Aussie has strongly improved and is now challenging Cameron Smith for best Australian player named Cameron. Davis has made all three cuts this season and played well in 2020. Davis is a good pick for the Houston Open for two reasons - driving and putting.

SAM BURNS

If you want a long shot to watch, Burns fits the course well and has been one of the top players in Strokes Gained off the tee. He’s also a solid putter, but a poor scrambler. He’s played relatively well as of late, making 3 of 4 cuts and finishing top 35 in all three of those events including a top 10.