No Masters worries means 40/1 shot can storm Shell Houston Open

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It’s going to be a challenge, but this author will try and go the entire Shell Houston Open preview without mentioning the Masters…ah. Well, with that first hurdle comprehensively fluffed it seems only right that the dreaded curse of the warm-up tournament gets some airtime now.

Only one man to win the pre-Masters sojourn in Texas has followed up with a top-five finish at Augusta, meaning for one-week only most of the leading candidates to capture the Shell Houston Open probably don’t want to win.

For that reason looking further down the betting is probably the best course of action when it comes to finding the most motivated golfers in the field, and Jason Kokrak, who won’t tee it up in Georgia, is among the most in-form of that clan.

The 29-year-old Canadian missed out on a third successive top-10 finish at the Valero Texas Open by just a single shot last week, with that T11 coming on the back of his seventh at the Valspar Championship and a T6 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

If that form wasn’t strong enough to make him a leading fancy at the Golf Club of Houston, then his previous results at that this course helps.

Although he missed the cut in 2012 and 2014, a ninth-place finish in between those outings proves he isn’t a lost cause in the week before the Masters.

At 40/1, his is a price certainly worth investing in, much like the 66/1 on Cameron Tringale, who holds course form to respect.

The Californian’s last three appearances at the tournament have yielded finishes of eighth, 16th and, most recently, fourth, making him a trusty each-way shout for the latest edition.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.