Shell Houston Open Tournament Fan Preview

The 2012 Shell Houston Open features several great PGA Tour golfers including defending champion Phil Mickelson. Other greats such as Fred Couples, Stewart Cink and Ernie Els will compete with other golfers to try to qualify for the Masters the following week.

Here's a look at the Shell Houston Open, a tournament that will try to make headlines during the week after Tiger Woods won his first tournament since 2009.

History

The Shell Houston Open was first held in May 1946 at the River Oaks Country Club. Byron Nelson was the inaugural winner. In 1951 the tournament began a run of 13 years at Memorial Park Golf Club that saw Arnold Palmer win the event in 1957.

The Woodlands Country Club hosted the Houston Open from 1975 to 2002, the longest run of any golf course over the history of the tournament. Champions such as Payne Stewart, David Duval and Vijay Singh all won at The Woodlands.

Redstone Golf Club has been the tournament host since 2003 when Couples won the Shell Houston Open. Singh has won at Redstone twice in consecutive years in 2004 and 2005.

Course

The Tournament Course was designed by Rees Jones and David Toms. The original golf club was opened in 2003 with the Member Course hosting the Houston Open. Three years later, the Tournament Course was opened with the express intent of hosting a PGA Tour event.

The Tournament Course is one of only a handful of PGA Tour courses open to the public. The course is full of bunkers, trees and well-placed greens that will challenge many golfers.

Schedule

The schedule of events at the Shell Houston Open is a typical week for the PGA Tour. Professionals practice Tuesday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 28. The first round starts March 29 with 144 golfers teeing it up to try to win the tournament.

Tee times start at around 7 a.m. for the first two days of the tournament. The Golf Channel and NBC Sports will cover several aspects of the event. This is the final warm up tournament for PGA golf pros before the Masters in Augusta, Ga., the following week.

William Browning has covered sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network including golf and local golf courses in southwest Missouri. He currently resides in Branson, Mo.

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