2021 Houston Open Power Rankings

Brooks Koepka, Sam Burns, and Scottie Scheffler are some of the marquee names at the Houston Open. (Credit: Getty Images)

After two weeks outside the U.S., the PGA Tour returns to the familiar state of Texas this week, for the Houston Open, an event that has origins dating all the way back to Byron Nelson’s victory in 1946.

For the second consecutive year, a talented field will be congregating at Memorial Park Municipal Golf Course, where Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz notched his first career victory, winning by two strokes over two of the Tour’s best in Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama.

Neither of those past two Masters Champions will be in attendance this week, but Ortiz will be attempting to defend a championship just one week after he was the closest from stopping Viktor Hovland’s successful defense of his 2020-21 victory at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba.

Do we like Ortiz’s chances? Our top 20 is as follows:

15. Andrew Landry

Andrew Landry PGA Tour
Andrew Landry lines up a putt on the 18th green during the final round of the Quicken Loans National at TPC Potomac (Maryland). Credit: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

The native Texan has a tendency to be hit-or-miss, which has been well-illustrated in the current season where his results have gone CUT, T4, CUT, T7 respectively.

Can he finally string two great weeks together?

The first of his two career PGA Tour titles came in Texas when he won the 2018 Valero Texas Open. Statistically, he has been quite awful recently, but he is a tremendous player who makes improbable shots when he is feeling confident.

World Rank: 174th
Odds To Win: 175-1
Odds/Field Rank: T81


14. Seamus Power

Seamus Power Wins Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace GC
Seamus Power prepares to play his shot on the 18th hole during the first playoff hole during the final round of the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace GC on July 18, 2021 in Nicholasville, KY. (Photo by Andy Lyons via Getty Images)

The Irishman ranked 463rd in the world in late March, but has found his game since, with ten finishes of T21 or better in his last 14 starts, including a victory in July at the Barbasol Championship.

Of the 14 rounds Power has played in the new season, he has shot 70 or better in the last 13, and he is coming off a T12-T11 stretch, with the latter getting him to a career best 89th in the world rankings. His 2021-22 scoring average is the 10th best on Tour.

World Rank: 89th
Odds To Win: 40-1
Odds/Field Rank: T15


13. Mackenzie Hughes

Mackenzie Hughes theScore BET
Mackenzie Hughes reacts after making a par putt on the 9th green during the first round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 25, 2020 in Cromwell, CT. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The 30-year-old Canadian is not terribly consistent round to round, but he has made 11 consecutive cuts on Tour. His T7 at Memorial Park a year ago included a 7-under 63 on Sunday that matched the low field round of the tournament.

Most recently, Hughes finished T4 at the ZOZO Championship, and he was excellent in his last two major starts (T15 and the 54-hole co-lead, T6). He is quietly one of the best putters on Tour.

World Rank: 50th
Odds To Win: 60-1
Odds/Field Rank: T25


12. Jason Day

Jason Day
Jason Day reacts to his putt on the 8th green during the second round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 25, 2021 in Cromwell, Conn. (Photo by Michael Reaves via Getty Images)

Attempting to put an end to a 3-plus-year winless drought, the former world No. 1 has been hot and cold in 2021 (more cold lately), but does arrive at arguably his best event of last season, where he was just one stroke off the 54-hole lead before finishing T7.

Playing just one tournament in the past two-plus months, we have hope that his back will not flare up, which is always the issue with Day.

Despite a T64 in that one start (THE CJ CUP @ Summit), he did close with a 65. He did manage to finish last season ranked inside the top 40 in four of the six strokes gained categories.

World Rank: 90th
Odds To Win: 90-1
Odds/Field Rank: T39


11. Carlos Ortiz

Carlos Ortiz World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba
Carlos Ortiz plays his shot from the bunker on the 18th hole during the final round of the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba on the El Camaleon course on Nov 7, 2021 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann via Getty Images)

Prior to last week’s World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, no Tour player had successfully defended a title in any event in more than two years. Could Ortiz repeat what Viktor Hovland did a week ago?

If you had asked a few weeks ago, we would have been skeptical. However, Ortiz was fantastic at Mayakoba, taking solo-second after a back-nine tear (five birdies in his last seven holes) pushed him to the brink of contention.

At this event a year ago, he outdueled then-world No. 1 Dustin Johnson down the stretch, something that shows incredible composure.

World Rank: 49th
Odds To Win: 33-1
Odds/Field Rank: T12


10. Aaron Wise

Aaron Wise walks from the 5th green after an eagle during the first round of the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba on the El Camaleon course on Nov 4, 2021 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins via Getty Images)

The former University of Oregon star has strung together three consecutive finishes of T15 or better, with two of those being in the top 10.

With Wise, hot recent form also coincides with positive course history, as he finished T11 at Memorial Park last year.

Wise ranks eighth on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, 12th in scoring average, and 16th in birdie average. He has been remarkably consistent with nine finishes of T26 or better in his last 13 starts.

World Rank: 65th
Odds To Win: 28-1
Odds/Field Rank: 10th


9. Adam Scott

Adam Scott
Adam Scott watches his shot on the 4th tee during the first round of WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession on Feb 25, 2021 in Bradenton, FL. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The 41-year-old Aussie has been quiet for a large portion of 2021, but seems to be coming around as of late, evidenced by his T2 in August’s Wyndham Championship, and a T5 in his most recent start at the CJ CUP @ Summit, where he held the 36-hole lead.

The 2007 Houston Open Champion remains one of the top ball strikers on Tour, and he generally plays well in Texas, with four of his 14 career victories coming in the Lone Star State. He was T32 here a year ago, with three rounds in the 60s.

World Rank: 40th
Odds To Win: 22-1
Odds/Field Rank: 6th


8. Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka hits his tee shot on the 4th hole during the final round of the 2021 PGA Championship held at the Ocean Course of Kiawah Island Golf Resort on May 23, 2021 in Kiawah Island, SC. (Photo by Montana Pritchard PGA of America via Getty Images)

The four-time major champion’s results over the last three months have been horrible, and a week ago in Mexico, a late triple-bogey on Friday caused him to the miss the cut entirely, after failing to finish better than T38 in either of his other 2021-22 season starts.

Statistically, he has been even worse than his results would indicate. Still, it’s Brooks Koepka. He can decide this is his week and turn it on at any time, and he does have reason to be optimistic: a 65-65 weekend at last year’s event led to a T5 finish.

World Rank: 15th
Odds To Win: 30-1
Odds/Field Rank: 11th


7. Talor Gooch

Danny Lee World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba
Talor Gooch plays his shot from the 2nd tee during the final round of the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba on El Camaleon golf course on Nov 7, 2021 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann via Getty Images)

There is no way to sugarcoat the 29-year-old’s difficult Sunday in Mexico last week, where he made the final pairing, but was never able to get anything going, posting the second-worst round in the Sunday field and dropping from solo-second to T11.

We are willing to forgive those final 18 holes, as he was gunning for his first career victory and had the unenviable task of playing the final round alongside Norwegian superstar Viktor Hovland, who also happened to be the event’s defending champion.

Also, being in contention was not an anomaly: Gooch has finished T11 or better in all four of his 2021-22 season starts, with two of those being top-5s. We suspect he will learn from what happened. It also helps that he closed with a 63 a year ago at Memorial Park, leading to his second consecutive fourth-place finish in this event.

World Rank: 51st
Odds To Win: 25-1
Odds/Field Rank: T7


6. Matthew Wolff

Matthew Wolff
Matthew Wolff talks with his caddie Nick Heinen 1during the third round of the 120th U.S. Open Championship on September 19, 2020 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

One of the most up-and-down tour players in recent memory, Wolff opened last week in Mexico with an immaculate 10-under 61 that ended up being a low round of the week. He stumbled late in the second round, however, when it appeared he was on the verge of running away with the title, and a shocking 74 in the third round took him out of the mix entirely.

Still, he did rebound with a 65 on Sunday to finish T5, just one start after he finished runner-up at the Shriners Children’s Open.

Can he avoid that one big number? The upside is incredible with this 22-year-old Oklahoma State product.

World Rank: 31st
Odds To Win: 25-1
Odds/Field Rank: T7


5. Tony Finau

Tony Finau plays his shot from the 15th tee during a practice round prior to the start of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines GC on June 15, 2021 in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Ezra Shaw via Getty Images)

The highest-ranked player in this week’s field, Finau was a disappointment last weekend in Mexico, posting his second consecutive result of T45.

That recent victory at THE NORTHERN TRUST has not quite opened up the floodgates the way many predicted, but he was in the top 10 through 54 holes here a year ago. He remains one of the Tour’s most consistently strong players, and it is just a matter of time before he contends again.

World Rank: 12th
Odds To Win: 25-1
Odds/Field Rank: T7


4. Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith Leads The Northern Trust
Cameron Smith walks down the 17th tee with clouds looming during the third round of THE NORTHERN TRUST at Liber ty National GC on Aug 21, 2021 in Jersey City, NJ. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The world No. 22 arrives in Houston in excellent form, with four top-10s in his last six starts worldwide.

The 28-year-old Aussie finished T9 in his only start in the new season, which came on the heels of a wildly successful 2020-21 season where he had a victory and two runner-ups among eight top-10s.

Showing a penchant for getting birdies in bunches, Smith ranked 4th on Tour last year in birdie average, and consistently flashed a phenomenal short game. He is one of those players, however, who struggles to avoid that one big round.

World Rank: 22nd
Odds To Win: 18-1
Odds/Field Rank: T2


3. Sungjae Im

Sungjae Im Wins 2021 Shriners Open
Sungjae Im hits a shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin on Oct 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Alex Goodlett via Getty Images)

The 23-year-old workaholic has wisely taken the past three weeks off, making him fresh for this week’s event, where he placed T50 here last year, but closed with a 67.

He comes into the week hot, most recently posting a T9 at THE CJ CUP @ Summit, one start after an impressive victory at the Shriners Children’s Open where he opened with a 63 and closed with a 62.

Im is currently second in the FedExCup standings, and ranks fifth on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and sixth in greens in regulation. His short game has been even better, as he ranks third in strokes gained: around-the-green and leads the Tour in sand save percentage.

World Rank: 24th
Odds To Win: 20-1
Odds/Field Rank: 5th


2. Sam Burns

Sam Burns Wins Sanderson Farms Championship WITB
Sam Burns prepares to play his shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Sanderson Farms Championship at Country Club of Jackson on Oct 3, 2021 in Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by Sam Greenwood via Getty Images)

Gunning for his first career victory, Burns had the 54-hole lead at Memorial Park a year ago, but stumbled out of the gate and was never able to get right, finishing with a 2-over 72 that dropped him to T7.

In the year since, his profile has skyrocketed. He notched that first career victory in May, and over the course of the rest of the season tallied two runner-ups and made the Tour Championship.

He has not cooled down any in the new season, winning his 2021-22 season debut at the Sanderson Farms Championship, and followed that up with a T14 at the Shriners Children’s Open and then posted a T5 in his most recent start at THE CJ CUP @ Summit. As a result he comes into the week atop the FedExCup standings, and is 18th in the OWGR.

It would be near impossible to not be ebullient about his chances this week.

World Rank: 18th
Odds To Win: 16-1
Odds/Field Rank: 1st


1. Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler watches his shot from the fourth tee during the final round of The Northern Trust at TPC Boston on Aug 23, 2020 in Norton, Mass. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

A Saturday 70 prevented Scheffler from being in serious Sunday contention for his first career victory at last week’s Mayakoba Championship, but to nobody’s surprise, seven birdies in an 11-hole stretch in the final round meant a 5-under 66 and a result of solo-fourth.

The former University of Texas star should be feeling at least somewhat near home in Houston, and is once again trending positively. We think it’s FINALLY his week.

World Rank: 21st
Odds To Win: 18-1
Odds/Field Rank: T2


Next Five: Tyrrell Hatton, Ryan Palmer, Charley Hoffman, Max Homa, Cameron Tringale


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