2022 Mexico Open at Vidanta Golf – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

The PGA Tour heads across the border into Mexico this week for the newly named Mexico Open at Vidanta, a fairly low key event but one which carries all the usual benefits for whoever it is who comes out on top here.

This is a new tournament so we will find the inaugural winner this week and whoever it is will receive an entry into the PGA Championship next month if not already qualified as well as the usual 500 FedExCup points.

The Course

We are at the Greg Norman designed Signature Course at the Vidanta Vallarta resort. The first thing to note is that this track is only a mile from the coast so unlike the tracks which have been used for the Mayakoba Classic and the WGC event which was in Mexico, altitude is not an issue here as we are at sea level. The course is a par 71 which can stretch to a maximum of 7,456 yards so it is fairly long even by today’s standards.

The test here is said to be a tee to green one with accuracy very much required. The greens are pretty big though so whoever wins this tournament is probably going to be accurate into them. That will need to be the case because water is in play on a number of holes and there are over 100 bunkers on the course too, many of them said to be quite deep. The greens aren’t going to run quickly because of the wind so poor putters aren’t at too much of a disadvantage.

The Field

One of the bigger and better regular PGA Tour events takes place next week and the countdown is on for the PGA Championship so it is no surprise that we have a weaker than I’m sure was hoped field for this week. It will be headlined by the former number one golfer Jon Rahm though while both the Mexican stars on the PGA Tour will tee it up on home soil in the form of Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz.

Although the field isn’t the strongest in terms of depth it does have some major championship winning stars in it in the form of Gary Woodland, Patrick Reed and Graeme McDowell among others. Also in the field this week are big names such as Tony Finau, Kevin Na, Sebastian Munoz, Matt Jones and Charles Howell III. Davis Riley, Cameron Tringale and Doug Ghim are hoping that this is their week to truly breakthrough.

Market Leaders

Jon Rahm will tee off as a 9/2 favourite to win the title. He is without a doubt the class act in the field but these days we tend to see the cream coming to the top in the bigger events and just going through the motions in the smaller ones. Rahm continues to flatter to deceive on the greens and actually at The Players Championship his iron play wasn’t the best either. I need to see a big week from him before I can back him at any price let alone this one.

Abraham Ancer and Gary Woodland come in as joint second favourites this week at 20/1. Ancer is on home soil and will want to entertain a crowd which is sure to offer him plenty of support. He might only be fairly priced however. Woodland has been hitting the ball beautifully for most of the season but mistakes on the greens have been costing him dearly. He is probably only a fair price based on that too but he’s a huge runner if he can sort his form out on the greens.

Tony Finau comes next in the betting at 22/1 but he is in no form whatsoever. To be fair to Finau, he has formerly won in Puerto Rico which carries similar conditions to this place so it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if he comes good here but you have to see something in a player in order to back him and aside from a good opening round at Augusta we haven’t seen it. Given his form there isn’t much value in the price.

Kevin Na and Aaron Wise are the other two men shorter than 30/1 in the betting. The accuracy test should really suit Na but he hasn’t really done it in windy conditions as much as I would like. Wise certainly has and he is another who won’t be inconvenienced by the fact that you need to be accurate with the long clubs this week. Of the two I would favour him but there is value to be had in either of them.

Main Bets

I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to get at Chris Kirk for a tournament and I think this might be it. When you consider that during the Florida leg of the season he finished seventh at The Honda Classic and fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on tougher tracks than this and in much deeper fields than this he fully justifies his place towards the head of the market. It is probably worth acknowledging that his Mexico record isn’t anything to write home about but that might just have been the altitude causing problems but he has no such concerns here. Kirk is a straight hitter who putts well and should enjoy this test. He’s my first main bet.

Brendon Todd has won in Mexico in the past and actually has a decent record in the country. He won the Mayakoba Classic in 2019 and then recorded a top 10 when he attempted to defend the title a year later. He was just outside the top 10 in the World Wide Technology Championship last year too so he must love it when he crosses the border. He heads there this time in pretty decent form after a top 10 in Texas as well as 26-21 finishes at The Heritage and the Zurich Classic. Todd is another who is very straight off the tee and decent into the greens and he’s a good putter. This test should suit him more than the other Mexican ones he’s been on so he’s an obvious main bet.

Outsiders

Graeme McDowell continues to offer signs of life at times at the minute but he hasn’t quite been able to put four rounds together. A lot of the time though that has come in much deeper fields than this and on tracks which are probably testing him for length. I’m not convinced either of those factors apply here so I’m prepared to give the Northern Irishman another shot here. We know he can handle the winds and we know he is a pretty accurate hitter of the golf ball. If he can get some putts to drop and dial four rounds of irons in then I don’t think he’ll be too far away here.

Ben Martin almost won in Dominica last month and I think he might be worth chancing here. He hasn’t done anything since then but they’ve been stacked field events or quirky formats in the case of last week. In the Dominica, Martin ranked 28 for fairways hit, third in hitting the greens and third for putting. If he can replicate that in not too dissimilar conditions here then he has to be a decent runner. He has a top 20 to his name in Mexico as well and while his career hasn’t gone the way he would have wanted it to over the last three years or so opportunities like this are still there for the grasping and I’ll pay to see if he can go one better than he did in Dominica last month.

Tips

Back C.Kirk to win Mexico Open at Vidanta (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-8)

Back B.Todd to win Mexico Open at Vidanta (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 46.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-8)

Back them here:

Back G.McDowell to win Mexico Open at Vidanta (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 151.00 with Coral (1/5 1-8)

Back B.Martin to win Mexico Open at Vidanta (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 151.00 with Coral (1/5 1-8)

Back them here:

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Author: Martha Chavez