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Mexico Open at Vidanta Preview, Picks & Analysis

By: | Mon 25 Apr 2022 | Comments


US OPEN champion Jon Rahm has confirmed his participation in the Mexico Open at Vidanta, presented by Grupo Salinas.

The tournament was played for the first time in 1944 but forms part of the PGA Tour schedule for the first time. A field of 132 PGA TOUR professionals will come together to compete for a $7.3m purse, 500 FedExCup points, and entry to the US PGA Championship, 2023 Players Championship, 2023 Masters and Sentry Tournament of Champions.

"Jon Rahm’s participation, confirms that golf in our country is stronger than ever, and is a clear indicator of how extraordinary the Mexico Open at Vidanta will be," said Benjamín Salinas Sada, Vice President of the Board of Directors of Grupo Salinas.

Rahm, 27, has achieved 13 victories around the world, of which six are on the PGA Tour and include one Major, the 2021 U.S. Open, which was played last June at Torrey Pines. Rahm made his PGA Tour debut in Mexico as an amateur in 2015 and has returned to compete on multiple occasions.

The Spaniard is regarded as one of the most complete players on TOUR, with earnings that surpass the $30 million dollar mark in just seven seasons. He has competed in 118 tournaments, making 105 cuts. In addition to his wins, he has eight second-place finishes, nine third-place finishes, and 58 Top-10 finishes. Since the end of 2019, he has stayed within the top three positions in the world rankings.

He turned professional in 2016, and just one year later, on January 29, 2017, won the Farmers Insurance Open, his first PGA Tour win, moving him to the 46th spot in the rankings. And he hasn’t looked back since.

Jon Rahm

Officially, on July 19, 2020, he became the number one player in the world and held this position for two weeks. A year later, on July 18, he was once again dominating the sport until being replaced at the top of the rankings by Masters champion Scottie Scheffler. Rahm has also represented his country in the 2016 World Cup and has been a member of the European Team in the last two editions of the Ryder Cup, in 2018 and 2020.

Rahm’s presence at Vidanta is a huge boost for the tournament, which will also feature Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz.

Ortiz (2020 Vivint Houston Open) and Ancer (2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational) won events during the 2020-21 season. Ancer, who played for the International Presidents Cup Team in 2019, finished ninth in the FedExCup last season, and has become one of the most consistent players in the game.

He has missed four cuts this season, including at The Masters, but showed a welcome return to form at the Dell Technologies WGC Match Play, where he lost in the quarter-finals. Ancer also finished seventh on home soil at the Mayakoba Championship, and will be relishing the opportunity of playing in Mexico once again.

Ortiz has had a miserable run of form, missing four cuts on the trot. But he will also hope to call on some positive memories from Mayakoba, where he finished second - his best performance of what has been a pretty disappointing season for the 30-year-old.

With the likes of Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth giving this event a miss, it represents an opportunity for some of the game’s lesser lights to make a name for themselves. And for others to rediscover their best form.

Former Masters champion Patrick Reed has not enjoyed the best of fortunes in 2022 but he is one of the most determined characters on the PGA Tour and is never more dangerous than when he is being written off. Don’t be surprised to see him contend in Mexico.

Gary Woodland is a former US Open champion who has also been battling to return to his best. But there have been some encouraging signs recently. He has missed seven cuts this season but there have also been four top-10 finishes along the way.

Many pundits will fancy the chances of Tony Finau and it has to be said that he is due a big week. The big-hitting American enjoyed the best season of his career in 2020-21, winning the Northern Trust, recording eight top-10 finishes and an astonishing 16 top-25 finishes. By his own admission, he has suffered something of a hangover this year and is still searching for his first top-10.

Tournament Winners

This is the first time the Mexico Open has been sanctioned by the PGA Tour

The Course

Designed by Greg Norman, Vidanta runs along the Ameca River, with water coming into play on several holes. It is a par 73 measuring 7,287 yards and it features six lakes and 55 cavernous bunkers.

Form Guide

Jon Rahm may be without a win in 2022 but he finished second at the Tournament of Champions and tied third at the Farmers Insurance Open. He would also have contended at The Masters had it not been for a shocking third round of 77. He is ready to win again and is unsurprisingly the hot favourite on Betway. Abraham Ancer may not be enjoying the best of seasons either but he always plays well on home soil and will surely fancy his chances of picking up his second PGA Tour title.

To Win:

Jon Rahm. Always there or thereabouts (5.5/1)

Each Way:

Abraham Ancer. Huge home favourite (17/1)

Each Way:

Patrick Reed. As feisty as they come (26/1)

Five to Follow:

Jon Rahm. Sure to be there or thereabouts (5.5/1)

Abraham Ancer. Loves playing in Mexico (17/1)

Patrick Reed. In need of a good week (26/1)

Cameron Champ. This course is made for him (41/1) 

Kevin Na. Still hugely underrated (26/1)

Outsiders to Watch:

Rafa Cabrera Bello. A rare start for the Spaniard (101/1)

Charles Howell III. Still grinding it out (51/1)

Anirban Lahiri. Back to his best (67/1)

Aaron Rai. Feeling at home on the PGA Tour (41/1)


This tour preview article was written in collaboration with Betway.


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Tags: PGA Tour FedEx Cup





 




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