While world No. 1 Dustin Johnson kicks back and relaxes in preparation for next week’s Masters Tournament, the field for this week’s Shell Houston Open features some of the game’s biggest names and hottest performers. Jon Rahm of Spain, who took Johnson to the limit before settling for second by a 1-up margin at the World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play, arrives in Houston from Austin riding a nice streak in 2017 that has seen him move into fourth in the FedExCup standings and into 14th overall in the world golf rankings. The big bombing Rahn owns the victory at the Farmer Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course and has T3, T5, and T16 finishes shining up his resume as he moves to take over from Sergio Garcia as their country’s best player.

Sets up as a favorite

World No. 6 player and Texas native Jordan Spieth sets up as a favorite in the Lone Star Start even after a so-so stretch in which he went T22 at the Genesis Open, T12 at the World Golf Championships – Mexico Championship -- and took a couple of weeks off before landing T30 last week. The Texan did have a nice run in January and February, though, when he was victorious at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and had top 10s in the Sony Open and Waste Management Phoenix Open. Spieth has always liked playing the Golf Club of Houston in the past because the ground crews work at mirroring the conditions that will greet the qualifiers when they take on Augusta.

A nifty T3 performance

Last year’s Shell Houston Open champ Jim Herman is hoping to re-capture that winning touch again so he too can head for The Masters next week.

The American has had an inconsistent 2016-2017 wraparound season. Herman did put together a nifty T3 performance in the Valspar Championship and a solid solo 10th in the Sony Open, but he has missed five cuts along the way. The Golf Club of Houston plays 7,441 yards and is a par 72.

Favorites: jordan spieth, Henrik Stenson, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, J.B.

Holmes.

Players to watch: Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Jim Herman, Justin Rose, Adam Scott.

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