HOUSTON (February 8, 2018) – Australian native and 2014 Houston Open champion Matt Jones is returning March 26-April 1 to the Golf Club of Houston. He returns to compete along with Houston Open veterans Lee Westwood, multiple major championship winner Padraig Harrington, 2017 Payne Stewart Award recipient Stewart Cink and Ryan Palmer to round out an early Houston Open field where 2017 champion Russell Henley will defend his title, announced tournament director Steve Timms.
Fans may recall Matt Jones earned a last minute Masters invitation in 2014 by winning the Houston Open with a dramatic hole-out chip shot on the first hole in a sudden death playoff with Matt Kuchar. The 2018 Houston Open marks his eighth consecutive year playing in the popular tournament. Englishman Lee Westwood is currently ranked No. 73 in the world with two PGA TOUR and 39 international victories. Padraig Harrington of Ireland also returns to the Houston Open. Padraig Harrington boasts 28 career victories, including back-to-back wins at the Open Championship in 2007 and 2008, plus a win at the PGA Championship. He is joining Westwood for an eleventh start at the Houston Open.
Stewart Cink, who has six PGA TOUR victories including the 2009 Open Championship and two international victories, is making his seventh appearance at the Houston Open. He holds an impressive record on and off the course, having recently been awarded the prestigious 2017 Payne Stewart Award for his philanthropic endeavors and character.
One to watch, Ryan Palmer marked his third career playoff on the PGA TOUR and a resulting tie for second at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open. He continues to show perseverance despite the challenges of 2016-2017 when his wife underwent cancer treatments and he had shoulder surgery. Ryan started the 2017-2018 season on a Major Medical Extension only to earn full eligibility with his performance at CareerBuilder Challenge.
The 2018 Houston Open will mark the return of the PGA TOUR stop in Houston and will be played the week of March 26-April 1 at the Golf Club of Houston Tournament Course. Tickets and future player information will be available at houstonopen.org.
About Houston Golf Association
Houston Golf Association (HGA) and its member volunteers make a difference for Houston communities and their youth through golf, outreach programs, events and fundraising. Founded in 1946, HGA is a not-for-profit, tax exempt 501c (3) organization and host organization to the Houston Open. Houston Golf Association operates The First Tee of Greater Houston reaching 350,000 youth annually and HGA Junior Golf, hosts amateur golf events and works with the City of Houston to restore municipal golf courses and amenities. For more information or to become a member go to www.hga.org.