After the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the PGA TOUR will be hosting the Mexico Open. This event was added to the PGA TOUR schedule last season and for the second year in a row, the Mexico Open will be played at Vidanta Vallarta (par 71, 7,456 yards, Paspalum greens). At the inaugural Mexico Open last year, Jon Rahm picked up his lone win of the 2022 season, finishing at 17-under, one shot better than Tony Finau, Kurt Kitayama and Brandon Wu.
Vidanta Vallarta was designed by Greg Norman and is one of the longest courses used at the PGA TOUR level. Combine this track’s daunting length with its wide fairways and thin rough, and Vidanta Vallarta is a venue that without a doubt favors bombers. Last season, Rahm led his field in driving distance and finished second in SG: Off-the-Tee during his victory at the Mexico Open. While Vidanta Vallarta is home to large putting surfaces, being in strong form with your irons will be pivotal in contending this week, with all these greens protected by bunkers – there are 106 in total at the course – and heavy wind gusts always being a factor at this coastal venue.
Vidanta Vallarta is a unique par 71 that features five par 3’s, four par 5’s and nine par 4’s. This track is a tricky test of golf and exposing the par 5’s for a birdie or better will be critical if you want to succeed at Vidanta Vallarta, as we saw six of the top-10 finishers at the Mexico Open last season end the tournament top-10 in par-5 efficiency.
Outside of Rahm and Finau, Vidanta Vallarta is hosting a very weak field of golfers this week, and considering the soft competition, Rahm is heavily favorited to repeat in his title defense, carrying the best odds to win the Mexico Open on the DraftKings Sportsbook at +275. In total, this is a field of 144 players and there will be a standard top-65 and ties cut following the first two rounds.
Below, I break down four of my favorite $7.5K DraftKings bargain plays for the Mexico Open.
Michael Kim ($7,300) – Kim has quietly been playing excellent golf and is a no brainer at this low of a cost. The 29-year-old finished T19 at the Zurich Classic last week with Seung-Yul Noh as his teammate and has only missed one cut in his last seven solo starts. During this span, Kim has recorded three top-30 finishes, including a T5 at the Puerto Rico Open and a T26 at the Corales Puntacana Championship, both of which were played at courses that present Paspalum greens, which is the same type of putting surface he will face at Vidanta Vallarta this week.
Kim ranks inside the top-35 in SG: Approach, driving distance and par-5 efficiency when we compare this field’s last 24 rounds and not only is a terrific DFS target this week, but is a great bet for a top-20 finish on the DraftKings Sportsbook at +360.
Vincent Norrman ($7,200) – Norrman finished T9th at the Zurich Classic last week with Matthias Schwab as his partner and has made five of his last eight cuts individually, including a pair of top-25 finishes. The Swede has never competed at Vidanta Vallarta before, but sets up perfectly for the long par 71, ranking 11th in driving distance and 21st in par-5 efficiency over his last past 24 rounds. Furthermore, Norrman has been an elite scorer during this time, ranking ninth in birdie or better percentage.
The 25-year-old is vastly underpriced for his talent and is undoubtedly one of the best cheap options available this week.
Jimmy Walker ($7,000) – Ignore that Walker missed the cut at the team-based Zurich Classic last week and attack the veteran at this cheap price tag. Before this, Walker had carded back-to-back top-25 finishes on his own, while gaining strokes on approach and with his putter at both events. Walker also ranks 18th in par-5 efficiency and 27th in driving distance over his last 24 rounds, making the former major champion an outstanding fit for Vidanta Vallarta.
With two Sony Open wins on his resume, Walker is no stranger to competing outside of the United States, and he should thrive in his Mexico Open debut this week with a top-30 finish.
Augusto Nunez ($7,000) – Nunez’s game fits Vidanta Vallarta like a glove. When we analyze this field’s last 24 rounds, not only does the Argentine rank 24th in driving distance, but Nunez ranks second only to Rahm in par-5 efficiency. Nunez comes into this week as the maker of seven of his past nine cuts at standard stroke play events, including top-30 finishes at both the Puerto Rico Open and Corales Puntacana Championship, which as noted above, are two tournaments that feature Paspalum greens, just like Mexico Open.
Nunez is far too cheap for his upside and should effortlessly beat this low salary in his first appearance Vidanta Vallarta this week.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.