You Oughta Know: Shell Houston Open


Heading into the final round of the Shell Houston Open, here are some things to look out for in the final PGA Tour round before the Masters.

At the start of the week 31 players in the field were also heading to Augusta National next week. Of the top 13 players through 54 holes, eight have not punched a Masters ticket yet.

Johnson Wagner was the last player to turn a Houston win into a Masters bid, taking the title in 2008. He finished T-36 at Augusta the next week. He already has a tee time at the Masters on Thursday.

• Hunter Mahan had the low round of the day on Saturday, shooting 65. He sits two back of Louis Oosthuizen, who had the second-best round of the day (66) along with Ryan Palmer (T-6).

Mahan's 65 is tied with six other players for the round of the week. There were three 65s in each of the first two rounds.

• Though Jeff Maggert fell out of contention on Saturday by shooting 4-over 76, the final round is a big one for the native Texan.

Maggert is in the final start of a medical exemption. To keep his PGA Tour status, he will have to earn $202,609 on Sunday. Maggert cannot finish any worse than a two-way tie for sixth place to do that. He trails the trio in sixth by three shots.

• If Fred Couples - currently T-37 - finishes in the top 25 on Sunday, he will own the most such finishes in Shell Houston Open history with 13.

He would pass Fred Haas Jr., Jay Haas, Tom Kite and Hal Sutton.

• A win is a win but, in the week before the Masters, it can also be a curse. Only two players have ever won the week before the year's first major, then been fitted for a green jacket the next Sunday.

Phil Mickelson did it in 2006, taking the BellSouth Classic and his second Masters. Sandy Lyle won the 1988 Masters after taking the Greater Greensboro Open the prior week.

• The eventual Masters champion has finished in the middle of the weekend pack in each of the last two years. Last year, Charl Schwartzel finished T-30 before winning at Augusta National. In 2010, Phil Mickelson was T-35 before a third Masters title.

Three years ago, Angel Cabrera missed the cut by three shots. Trevor Immelman did as well in 2008.

Zach Johnson is the last Masters winner to not play in Houston the week before taming Augusta National.