The 2016 fantasy golf season rolls right along, as the PGA Tour remains in Texas this week for the Shell Houston Open. A field of 144 players will tackle the Golf Club of Houston in the hopes of earning a win - and perhaps a ticket to the Masters.
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1. Phil Mickelson: When it comes to Mickelson, what's not to like? He has largely exceeded expectations this year, loves playing this week and on this course and played well last week before running into a buzzsaw. The only thing missing is a win, and that could come here where he has five straight finishes of T-17 or better.
2. Jordan Spieth: Spieth used a strong performance here last year to catapault him to a Masters romp, and he'll be looking for more of the same. While his game isn't quite as sharp as it was 12 months ago, his plan has always been to peak leading into the Masters. An uptick this week would go a long way toward that end.
3. Henrik Stenson: Stenson should be refreshed after skipping the WGC-Dell Match Play, and in his last start he nearly won at Bay Hill. The Swede was a runner-up here in 2013 and possesses the type of power game that typically yields favorable results at GC of Houston.
4. Louis Oosthuizen: The South African is fresh off a runner-up performance in Austin, and now he makes the short trip to Houston where he finished T-3 in 2012 and T-10 in 2013. Oosthuizen now has finished T-14 or better in each of his last five worldwide starts, including a win, and appears poised to extend that streak this week.
5. Patrick Reed: Reed is a Houston resident and finished T-17 last year in his return to his de facto hometown event. Reed quietly notched a top-10 performance at Innisbrook and followed that by winning his group at Austin, putting him among the growing list of players building momentum for the season's first major.
6. J.B. Holmes: The defending champ also lost in a playoff here in 2009, finished T-8 in 2012 and T-12 in 2014. Holmes' strength off the tee is a valuable asset at this course, and he could use this chance to get back on track after cooling somewhat following a run of four straight top-11 finishes earlier this year.
7. Dustin Johnson: Johnson hasn't played here since withdrawing in 2014, but he did finish T-4 the year prior. He enters off a quarterfinal appearance in Austin and has now cracked the top 15 in each of his last three starts overall, and like Holmes he should find this week's venue conducive to his strategy and prowess off the tee.
8. Sergio Garcia: The Spaniard is making his third straight start in Houston, where he finished T-3 in 2014. While he made an early exit at the match play, he strung together a pair of strong weeks in Florida to show that he remains a threat to contend - and win - against a world-class field on any given week.
9. Rickie Fowler: Fowler notched a top-10 in Houston in 2014, but that result is sandwiched around a trio of trips where he struggled mightily on the weekend. Fowler was upset during pool play last week to end what had been a run of five top-10 finishes in his last six worldwide starts.
10. Charl Schwartzel: Schwartzel has more experience at this event than you might expect, with five appearances in the last six years highlighted by his third-place showing in 2010. The South African is experiencing a resurgence this year, with a pair of worldwide wins including his triumph at Innisbrook in his most recent stroke-play start.