5 players to watch in the Houston Open

By Ari Alexander - Sports Reporter
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HOUSTON - The Houston Open has a new look in 2019 with no title sponsor, an October date and a diminished field.

Usually a tuneup before the Masters, the Astros Golf Foundation-run tournament is now a fall series event for the PGA Tour.

While not too many big names are in the field, there are still a few players that can thrill the crowd at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble.

Henrik Stenson

The superstar Swede is easily the biggest and most recognizable name in the field. He won the British Open in 2016 and the FedEx Cup in 2003.

Stenson, though, isn't confident where his game is right now. He called it "50%" of what he was in 2016. Stenson also added "If I'm the favorite, you might want to reconsider."

He had a tough season in 2018-2019, with his top finish an 8th place at the Canadian Open. He did get a Top 10 at the U.S. Open, but was otherwise underwhelming for the ex-world No. 1.

Cameron Champ

One of the longest players on tour and a star in the making, Champ has won twice in his young career, including two weeks ago at the Safeway Open.

The Texas A&M Aggie hits his average drive around 320 and will put on a show in Humble.

Shawn Stefani

The Baytown local is back in his home area playing in a tournament he has familiarity with. Stefani picked up two Top 10s on the PGA Tour in 2019 and tied for 28th at Sanderson Farms a few weeks ago. Maybe being close to home will give him a boost.

Cole Hammer

The Houston-native amateur from the University of Texas is playing on a sponsor's exemption. Hammer has as good of a shot as any player to place high since we've seen an uptick of successful young golfers. Players like Viktor Hovland, Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa have come straight from college to either win or place high. Hammer is the No. 2 ranked amateur player in the world and had previously been No 1. Hammer played in the Walker Cup, helping the U.S. win over Great Britain and Ireland.

Scottie Scheffler

Another Texas Longhorn, Scheffler has been one of the best young golfers on tour in this early season and has broken into the Top 100 of the World Golf Rankings.

He's already picked up a Top 10 finish and has made none of 14 career cuts. Scheffler is another one of the golf world's future stars.

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