Welcome back to Mexico.
The PGA Tour heads south of the border for the 2022 Mexico Open. What, you’ve never head of the Mexico Open? Well, you’re not alone. It’s brand new to the schedule.
The tournament is being held at the Greg Norman designed Vidanta Vallarta course, in Vallarta, Mexico. The course opened for play in 2016. This tournament takes the place of the WGC-Mexico Championship. (The 2021 WGC-Mexico Championship was held in Florida with Collin Morikawa winning, but that’s a whole different story).
The par-71 course plays to almost 7,500 yards so it’s going to be a nice test for players.
And Norman and Co. have added to the challenge as 250 yards has been added to the course. There are also 51 brand new bunkers on the layout, bringing the total number to 106. And these bunkers have a tendency to guard the greens very well so pinpoint accuracy on approach shots is going to be a key.
Many of the big names aren’t here this week as world No. 2 Jon Rahm is the only top-10 player in the field.
So, this is an ideal time for players to make a move up the FedEx Cup standings as the race for the title heats up. Every point counts and there are 500 of them up for grabs this week as well as a winner’s purse of $1.3 million and change.
That’s a pretty good incentive to play this week…especially if you’re still looking way, way up at the FedEx Cup point leaders.
Odds To Win The Mexico Open (DraftKings)
Jon Rahm +400
Cameron Tringale +2200
Gary Woodland +2200
Kevin Na +2200
Abraham Ancer +2500
Tony Finau +3000
Sebastian Munoz +3000
Chris Kirk +3500
Patrick Reed +4000
As always, be sure to shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.
Watch Out For The Big Hitters This Week
With the length of the course added into the near-sea-level elevation, those who can launch it out there will have a definite edge.
As any golfer knows, having an 8-iron into a green is a whole lot easier than trying to go flag-hunting with a 5-iron.
This course is a par-73 course (for resort guests) but it is listed as a par-71 layout for this week’s event. What that likely means is a couple of those easier, short par 5s the guests eat up will now be tough par 4s that will put long irons into the pros’ hands.
Now, who looks like they are in good form and trending in the right direction to take on a course everyone will be playing for the first time (unless they have vacationed here).
Check The FedEx Cup Standings
No, we’re not talking about the guys at the top of the FedEx Cup standings.
We’re looking at the guys who are in need of getting their game into high gear to make a move up the standings as the weeks and tournaments start to wind down.
Take a guy like Tony Finau for instance.
Finau, at +3000 this week, is ranked No. 149 in the FedEx Cup standings. That’s a far cry from where he’s normally hovering this late in the season.
With his last few outings being mediocre by his standards, this is the type of event that will suit his game: It’s a longer course and he can bomb it with the best of them.
His last three outings have been T-35, T-29 and T-35 (at the Masters) so he’s just hovering. For a player who is ranked No. 25 in the world golf rankings, that’s just not good enough.
It’s time for him to put it in high gear and we’re looking for a nice bounceback this week.
The Golfer Who Is Always In The Hunt
It’s likely been quite awhile since we’ve come to a Sunday on the PGA Tour and Jon Rahm, the favorite at a paltry +400 this week, isn’t in the chase for another title.
This week shouldn’t be any different. But there can be the problem of Rahm’s drive this week with the lack of depth in the field. Sure, he should probably run away with this thing. But will the motivation be there with guys like Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas and the other top-ranked players skipping this week’s event?
That’s the big question.
On the positive side, the drive better start being there. Rahm, ranked No. 2 in the world, has also had a recent history that doesn’t mirror his rankings.
His best finish in his last four outings is a T-9 at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play event. That’s not good enough for his standards and with the lack of starpower in this week’s event, he could just run away from the field and hide.
We’re hoping he feels it’s time for him to kick it into gear and live up to that world ranking and also get back in the winner’s circle.
Back To The Prop Bets
We’re going to back off the prop bet we love this week: Will the winner be playing in the last group on Sunday? The reason? It’s quite simple as with the marquee names in the field being down a notch or two, someone (Rahm?) could hold a good-sized lead heading into the final round on Sunday and cruise to the victory. (See last week’s team event where Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele held a five-stroke lead heading into Sunday and held off our pick to win–Billy Horschel and Sam Burns–by two strokes).
One bet we do like is Davis Riley to finish in the top 20 at +275. Riley teamed up with Will Zalatoris to finish T-4 last week at the Zurich Classic team event, and he also recently had a solo second at the Valspar Championship.
He’s still looking for that first victory on the PGA Tour and there’s no doubt it could come sooner rather than later. And if you’re feeling a little more adventurous and confident, you can move your bet up to a top-10 finish and lock up Riley at +600.
And one other prop bet to consider: Abraham Ancer leads a Mexican contingent that will be looking to put up a good showing. We like him at +300 in the five-man, head-to-head matchups against Sebastian Munoz, Tony Finau, Aaron Wise and Chris Kirk.
Also read: PGA Championship Betting Guide