HOUSTON – Steve Stricker, No. 5 in the World Golf Rankings, joins a star-studded player field at Shell Houston Open that features winners of 21 major championships. The $6 million tournament is set the week of March 26-April 1 on the Redstone Golf Club – Tournament Course.
Stricker has played in nine of the last 10 Shell Houston Opens, including a T4 finish in 2011. Winner of the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Stricker is joined by No. 3 Lee Westwood of England, and No. 6 Charl Schwartzel, the defending Masters champion. Schwartzel, who birdied the last four holes to shoot past Rory McIlroy at Augusta National last year, is making his third SHO appearance. His best finish is a T3 in 2010.
Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland (British Open) and No. 20-ranked Keegan Bradley (PGA Championship) give the SHO three reigning major championship winners. Other new commitments from major championship winners include Stewart Cink (2009 British Open), Angel Cabrera of Argentina (2009 Masters, 2007 U.S. Open), Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain (1999 & 1994 Masters) and Texan Justin Leonard (1997 British Open).
All total the 2012 SHO has attracted 14 players who have won a total of 24 major championships. Fred Couples (1992 Masters), Ernie Els (1999 & 1994 U.S. Open, 2002 British Open), Retief Goosen of South Africa (2001 & 2004 U.S. Open), Padraig Harrington of Northern Ireland (2007 & 2008 British Open, 2008 PGA Championship), Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland (2010 U.S. Open), Louis Oosthuizen (2010 British Open) and defending SHO champion Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006 & 2010 Masters, 2005 PGA Championship).
Mickelson, No. 13 in the World Golf Rankings, also won the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Other 2012 winners on the commitment list include SONY Open winner Johnson Wagner, the 2008 SHO champ; John Huh, the Mayakoba Golf Championship; and No. 12 Hunter Mahan, Accenture Match Play Championship.
Players have until this Friday (March 23) to commit or withdraw from the Shell Houston Open. The starting field will be 144 players. A player, not otherwise eligible, could earn an invitation to The Masters by winning in Houston.