You Oughta Know: Shell Houston Open


Matt Kuchar let one slip through his fingers last week in San Antonio, but he's once again in position to grab the trophy this week at the Shell Houston Open. Here's what You Oughta Know heading into the final round in the Lone Star State, where Kuchar holds a four-shot lead:

  • Kuchar tied for fourth after closing with a 75 at the Valero Texas Open, but now is the man to beat this time around. Should Kuchar win Sunday, it would be his seventh PGA Tour title and third win since February 2013.
  • Kuchar is known as one of the Tour's top ball-strikers, and that tee-to-green proficiency has been on full display this week in Houston. Kuchar leads the field in greens in regulation percentage, having hit 48 of 54 GIR, and missed only one green en route to a 4-under 68 in the third round.
  • While Kuchar appears to be in command, a large lead is hardly safe these days on the PGA Tour. Two weeks ago, Adam Scott carried a three-shot advantage into the final round at Bay Hill but finished third behind Matt Every, and last week Steven Bowditch won the Valero Texas Open but only after his three-shot cushion was trimmed to just one.
  • Sergio Garcia sits in a two-way tie for second, four shots behind Kuchar. He began the third round with the lead and, while he reached 13 of 18 GIR as he did in each of the first two rounds, his putter failed him. Garcia needed only 51 total putts across the first 36 holes, but took 30 putts Saturday while carding a 1-over 73.
  • Like Kuchar, Cameron Tringale played his college golf at Georgia Tech and now will try to chase down his fellow Yellow Jacket in search of his first career PGA Tour win. Tringale will begin the final round in second alongside Garcia, and is one of four players among the top seven that could earn the final spot in the Masters field with a win in Houston.
  • Jon Curran won earlier this year on the Tour, but he is making just his fifth career PGA Tour start - and making the most of it. Curran, a longtime friend of Keegan Bradley, will tee off Sunday in a tie for eighth, nine shots off the pace and in position for the largest payday of his professional career.
  • Retief Goosen is also tied for eighth through 54 holes, and a solid effort in the final round will secure the South African's playing privileges for the balance of the season. Goosen is in the final start of a major medical extension and needs to earn $50,625 this week in order to remain fully exempt for the rest of 2013-14.